CI Recap (3/13/17) – Cubs 3, Padres 1: Big John Debuts, Happ Continues His Torrid Pace

Ian Happ is just a straight-up freak show right now, hitting pretty much everything he sees. The minor leaguer went 3-for-3 with a home run and a pair of runs driven in to push his OPS to 1.351 this spring. That’s really good.

I know he probably had no idea about the FanGraphs top 100 prospects list that had him ranked 51, but I’d like to think that today’s performance was a response to it. Actually, let’s go with that narrative. It’s much more fun to spin the idea that he’s using his ranking as a motivator.

One guy who doesn’t need much motivation is John Lackey, who was making his official Cactus League debut against the Padres. In what is likely to be his last go-round, Lackey may be taking a little more time to soak things in and enjoy the scenery, but he’s probably never going to admit it.

“I’m just going to try to win, man,” the veteran pitcher said after the game.

Lackey once again rode the fastball over the course of three innings, allowing one run on three hits and a walk. Pretty typical outing for a guy who knows what he needs to do to get ready for an upcoming season that may or may not be his last.

Happ’s two-run homer gave the Cubs all the runs they’d need, though Willson Contreras would later double home Albert Almora to push the score to its final tally.

Stats that matter

  • Happ is slashing .467/.484/.867 at this point
  • Three Cubs relievers (Jake Buchanan, David Rollins, Aaron Brooks) earned holds
  • Eloy Jimenez went 0-1 to lower his OPS to .997

Bottom line

Gee, I don’t know, maybe just that Ian Happ is awesome.

On deck

The Cubs return to Sloan as Brett Anderson opposes Zach Davies and the Milwaukee Brewers at 3:05 CT.

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