CINCINNATI — Center fielder Ian Happ was removed in the eighth inning of the Cubs’ 13-12 loss to the Reds on Sunday after colliding with second baseman Nico Hoerner.
The collision occurred on a pop-up to shallow center with Happ and Hoerner converging on the ball. As Hoerner reached out to make an over-the-shoulder catch, a sliding Happ collided with him, leaving both players on the ground in pain.
The Cubs’ medical staff immediately came out along with manager David Ross to check on Happ, who took the brunt of the hit. He was on the ground for several minutes before getting in an upright position and being assisted onto the cart.
“Hearing the two of them coming together, being so close to it, I don’t want to see that again,” Kris Bryant said. “Thankfully he’s in there. I was talking to him and made sure to let him know that he had a great game.”
Hoerner would stay in the game and take over in left field with Bryant moving to center.
“I have not talked to the trainers yet,” Ross said after the game. “I talked to Ian. He feels fine. Pretty, pretty good. Blow to the face. I haven’t heard the doctor’s report yet, but I did talk to Ian, and he’s in good spirits.”
Hoerner stays hot
Hoerner, 23, is playing like he has something to prove. Since being recalled from the team’s alternate site April 22, he has been a man on a mission.
He has picked up right where he left off in spring training and provided a spark for a lineup that needed one. He’s hitting .389 (14-for-36) with six doubles, eight walks, seven strikeouts and three stolen bases in 11 games.
“He’s a baseball player, man,’’ Ross said. ‘‘He’s a really good baseball player. That’s what I love about him. He’s always studying and trying to be better. He’s got a plan, and he’s willing to do anything we ask. It’s a really consistent at-bat. You think a lot of us knew who he was, and he’s out to prove something, which is a really powerful thing.”
“Over the course of the season comes a lot of different feels,” Hoerner said. “But the good thing is that the work has been really consistent, and I’ve pretty much maintained the same routines as in the beginning of spring, which I haven’t always done. I have a great support staff here and really feel like I’m in a spot where I’m learning on the fly in a really healthy way as well as helping the team win on a daily basis, and that’s my priority moving forward.”