12:32pm: The Cubs will, in fact, promote Happ, Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune writes (Twitter links). Happ will bat second and play right field for the Cubs today. No corresponding move has yet been announced.
11:28am: The Cubs could promote top prospect Ian Happ as a short-term replacement today as a result of injuries to Addison Russell, Jon Jay and Kris Bryant, Carrie Muskat of MLB.com’s tweets. Russell is currently listed as day-to-day with shoulder soreness. Jay left yesterday’s game due to back spasms, and Bryant sat out yesterday due to illness. A promotion would give Happ his first taste of big-league action. He is not yet on their 40-man roster.
The 22-year-old Happ was the ninth overall pick in the 2015 draft out of the University of Cincinnati. He’s raced through the minors and is off to a hot start with Triple-A Iowa, batting .298/.362/.615 with nine homers in 116 plate appearances thus far in 2017. MLB.com currently rates him the No. 23 prospect in the game, with Baseball America placing him at No. 55 and ESPN’s Keith Law (Insiders only) at No. 63. MLB.com’s praises the switch-hitter’s bat speed and plate discipline, noting that he could eventually become a 20-20 player in the big leagues.
Happ has split his time between second base and the outfield as a pro, although MLB.com suggests his eventual destination is left field. The Cubs, of course, have Kyle Schwarber in left and Javier Baez and Ben Zobrist available at second, although they’re generally flexible in their lineup construction, and it doesn’t appear they’re planning to clear a permanent space for Happ right now anyway. If they were to promote him now, the move might well be temporary, as Muskat suggests — the Cubs have plenty of talent if everyone is healthy, and Happ has limited Triple-A experience and would likely become a Super Two player if he were to arrive in the big leagues and remain there.