Why is Ian Happ Back in the Cubs Lineup?

Frank Jones

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Why is Ian Happ Back in the Cubs Lineup

Baseball fans are always eager to see their favorite players back in the starting lineup after a period of uncertainty. This has been the case for Ian Happ, who found himself out of favor with the Chicago Cubs during the 2020 season.

However, Happ’s determination and hard work have paid off, and he is now a regular player once again. Happ’s story is one of perseverance and dedication, as he overcame struggles on the field and worked tirelessly to improve his game.

In this article, we will explore why Ian Happ is back in the Cubs lineup and how his performance has improved in 2021. We’ll also look at some of the factors that contributed to Happ’s struggles in 2020 and examine what has changed to bring him back to the starting lineup.

Happ’s Struggles in 2020

In the 2020 season, Ian Happ struggled at the plate, hitting just .258 with a .361 on-base percentage and a .505 slugging percentage.

These numbers were lower than what he had produced in previous seasons, and as a result, Happ was benched or sent down to the Cubs’ alternate training site at times. He appeared in only 57 games, starting in 46 of them.

There were several factors that may have contributed to Happ’s struggles in 2020. One was a lack of consistent playing time, as he often found himself in and out of the lineup. This can make it difficult for a player to get into a rhythm and find his groove at the plate.

Additionally, Happ made some adjustments to his swing in the offseason that may have taken some time to get comfortable with, which could have affected his performance early on.

It’s worth noting that Happ was not alone in struggling on the Cubs in 2020. The team as a whole had a disappointing season, finishing with a 34-26 record and losing in the first round of the playoffs.

Many players on the team had subpar performances, including some who had been reliable contributors in previous seasons. Despite the struggles, the Cubs saw potential in Happ and decided to give him another chance to prove himself.

Happ’s Motivation and Work Ethic

Happ was determined to bounce back from his struggles in 2020 and prove that he was capable of contributing to the Cubs. He expressed his desire to get back in the lineup and make a positive impact for the team.

Happ’s motivation to succeed and his willingness to put in the work to make it happen were evident to his coaches and teammates.

Happ’s work ethic and dedication to improving his game were also apparent. He worked extensively with Cubs hitting coach Anthony Iapoce during the offseason to refine his swing and improve his approach at the plate.

Happ also worked on his physical fitness, including his speed and agility, to make himself a more versatile and effective player. These efforts showed a level of commitment that impressed the Cubs coaching staff and front office.

Happ’s hard work and motivation paid off when he got a chance to play regularly again. He seized the opportunity and began to produce at the plate, hitting for power and getting on base at a consistent clip.

Happ’s improved performance earned him a spot in the starting lineup, and he has continued to be a productive player for the Cubs in 2021.

His determination and work ethic have not only helped him get back into the lineup, but they have also inspired his teammates and shown what can be achieved through hard work and perseverance.

Happ’s Performance in 2021

Ian Happ has had a strong start to the 2021 season, hitting .245 with a .357 on-base percentage and a .490 slugging percentage. He has hit six home runs and driven in 14 runs in 19 games, and his walk rate has increased while his strikeout rate has decreased.

These statistics represent a significant improvement over his numbers from the previous season and demonstrate his ability to make adjustments and improve his game.

One of the factors that has contributed to Happ’s improved performance is his willingness to make adjustments to his swing and approach at the plate. He has worked with Cubs hitting coach Anthony Iapoce to refine his mechanics and develop a more consistent swing.

Happ has also focused on improving his pitch recognition and selectivity, which has led to an increase in walks and a decrease in strikeouts.

Happ’s improved performance in 2021 is a stark contrast to his struggles in 2020, which saw him benched or sent down to the minors at times.

The changes he has made to his swing and approach, along with his increased focus and determination, have allowed him to become a more consistent and productive player for the Cubs.

His improved performance has earned him a spot in the starting lineup once again, and he has shown that he is capable of contributing to the team’s success.

Overall, Happ’s 2021 performance demonstrates his resilience and ability to overcome challenges, and highlights the importance of hard work and dedication in achieving success.

Ian Happ’s Statistics Comparison (2020 Vs 2021)

Statistic2020 Season2021 Season
Batting Average.258.245
On-Base Percentage.358.357
Slugging Percentage.505.490
Home Runs126
Runs Batted In2814
Walk Rate11.7%16.6%
Strikeout Rate32.4%23.8%

The table shows that while Happ’s overall batting average is slightly lower in 2021, his on-base percentage and slugging percentage are relatively similar to his numbers from 2020.

However, his home runs and runs batted in are lower in 2021 due to a smaller sample size of games played.

Additionally, Happ has increased his walk rate and decreased his strikeout rate in 2021, which has led to a more productive and efficient performance at the plate.


How did Happ’s time in the minors in 2020 impact his development as a player?

While being sent to the minors can be tough on a player, Happ used the time to work on his swing and approach at the plate with the coaching staff. This additional practice likely contributed to his improved performance in 2021.

Has Happ made any changes to his defensive game?

While Happ is primarily known for his offensive abilities, he has also worked on improving his defense. In 2021, he has shown increased range and made several impressive plays in the outfield.

What role has manager David Ross played in Happ’s resurgence?

David Ross has been supportive of Happ and has given him opportunities to play and contribute to the team. Ross has also worked with Happ on his mental approach to the game and has encouraged him to stay focused and positive.

Is Happ’s improvement sustainable over the course of the season?

It’s impossible to predict the future, but Happ’s improved performance appears to be the result of concrete changes he has made to his swing and approach. If he continues to focus on these improvements and stay healthy, there is reason to believe he can sustain his success throughout the season.

What impact has Happ’s resurgence had on the Cubs as a team?

Happ’s improved performance has been a boost for the Cubs, who have struggled at times in the early part of the season. His ability to get on base and hit for power has made him a valuable asset to the team’s lineup, and his positive attitude and work ethic have set an example for his teammates.


Ian Happ’s journey from struggling in 2020 to being a productive player in 2021 is a testament to his hard work and determination.

Happ’s willingness to make adjustments to his swing and approach, as well as his dedication to improving his game, have allowed him to become a more consistent and productive player for the Cubs.

Happ’s story serves as an inspiration to all athletes and shows that with hard work and perseverance, it is possible to overcome challenges and achieve success.

As the season progresses, it will be exciting to see how Happ continues to contribute to the Cubs and further cement his place in the starting lineup.

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