Cubs prospect Ian Happ making himself look at home in the big leagues
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ST. LOUIS — Cubs prospect Ian Happ is in the major leagues only because of a sudden roster need.
But after two games, Happ might have earned consideration to stick around longer than the need lasts.
‘‘If he keeps doing what he looked like, it’s hard to say that you don’t want him here longer,’’ manager Joe Maddon said. ‘‘There’s other ways to fit him in.’’
Happ, a switch-hitting infield/outfield hybrid, was called up Saturday from Class AAA Iowa because a series of minor injuries — and Kris Bryant’s stomach bug — sidelined a couple of lineup regulars.
Happ, the No. 9 overall pick in the 2015 draft, started in right field and batted second in the last two games against the Cardinals. He hit a home run in his debut Saturday, then doubled and had an infield single Sunday.
He also made a sliding catch in right for the first out of the third inning Sunday, then finished the game in center.
‘‘We know how good he is,’’ Maddon said. ‘‘We know what he means to our future. Go play and let us figure out the rest.’’
Barring another injury or sudden need, the Cubs’ next roster decision might come when right fielder Jason Heyward (jammed finger) is expected back from the disabled list in the middle or end of this week.
Happ’s versatility might work in his favor. Corner infielder Jeimer Candelario, who was called up as the 26th man for the Cubs’ doubleheader Tuesday against the Rockies and stuck when position guys began to ail, might be a more logical corresponding move for Heyward.
After that, might Happ become the 2017 version of Albert Almora Jr., who made his big-league debut because of a roster emergency last summer and wound up on the World Series roster?
‘‘The team, roster-wise, is in a state of flux now based on different guys being banged up,’’ Maddon said. ‘‘All Ian has to worry about is to continue to do what he did in camp and what he did in Triple-A and let us make that decision.’’