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Cubs’ Ian Happ goes on 10-day injured list after painful pregame workout

The outfielder took batting practice and did some running in the field, but there was too much pain — especially when running — not to take a pause.

Chicago Cubs v Cincinnati Reds
Happ will be on the shelf until no sooner than May 14 in Detroit.
Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

The Cubs are done giving outfielder Ian Happ the runaround — literally.

Five days after bruising his ribs in a nasty collision with second baseman Nico Hoerner in Cincinnati, Happ was put on the 10-day injured list, retroactive to May 4. He took batting practice and did some running in the field before the opener of a three-game series against the Pirates at Wrigley Field, but there was too much pain — especially when running — not to take a pause.

“You don’t realize how much you use your core, your rib cage, until you can’t,” Happ said. “The impact of running and being able to move around in the outfield is probably the biggest single thing.”

Hoerner is on the 10-day injured list, retroactive to May 3, with a strained forearm sustained in the collision. He and Happ could both be back for the series that begins Friday in Detroit, though Happ seemed to be more of a question mark entering the weekend.

“It’s just not progressing as quick as we wanted it to,” Happ said. “It was getting better. I thought that it would start to clear up quicker.”

The Cubs called up outfielder Nick Martini from Triple-A Iowa. Martini, 30, has appeared in 61 big-league games with the A’s and Padres. The team also designated reliever Kyle Ryan for assignment and recalled reliever Jason Adam from Iowa.

As scary as the collision looked for Happ, it’s a good thing he’s as well off as he is. He took a shot to the nose that he described as “disorienting” and had the wind knocked out of him, on top of the rib pain that came as his adrenaline went.

Happ isn’t worried that time off will cost him his “hot streak” at the plate. Mired in the .100s all season, Happ had a three-hit game going — including a three-run homer — when he got hurt.

“It’s tough once you start to feel like you’re coming out of what was some bad luck and then some tough at-bats, and you feel like you’re starting to turn the corner,” he said. “But, honestly, the swing still feels good.”

Bryant for MVP?

While discussing Kris Bryant’s seemingly bottomless supply of versatility — he started in center field Friday — manager David Ross really went there. As in, he mentioned the impending free agent and the MVP award in the same sentence, and not just in the past tense.

“His [value] has always been high,” Ross said. “He’s a former MVP. I think his versatility lends to even more talks of MVP if he continues to put up the numbers he’s putting up. ‘Most Valuable Player’ is pretty valuable in this game.”

One would think so.

No offense, Tony

White Sox manager Tony La Russa’s name didn’t come up as Ross was asked about an extra-inning rule that tripped up La Russa in a recent game. The older skipper was caught unaware that a pitcher occupying the spot in the order to make the last out in the previous inning doesn’t have to be deployed as the runner to start the next inning on second base.

Let’s just say Ross didn’t find it complicated or confusing.

“I mean, not to simplify it too much, but it’s the guy who made the last out [or], if it’s the pitcher, you go to the guy before,” he said. “It’s not . . . I mean, that’s what the rule says.”