CHICAGO -- Sunday marks the one-year anniversary of Ian Happ's first callup to the Cubs, and he'll be able to celebrate that as well as Mother's Day.How different has it been for Happ? Now, he's playing golf with Jonathan Lester and joking with Anthony Rizzo. A year ago, he couldn't
CHICAGO -- Sunday marks the one-year anniversary of Ian Happ's first callup to the Cubs, and he'll be able to celebrate that as well as Mother's Day.
How different has it been for Happ? Now, he's playing golf with Jonathan Lester and joking with Anthony Rizzo. A year ago, he couldn't imagine that.
"It is crazy to think it was a year ago," Happ said Saturday. "I was sitting down with the family -- Mom's in town for Mother's Day, and we were sitting down [Friday] and thinking that was a year ago in Salt Lake [with the Triple-A Iowa team]. It's a pretty big change, and cool to reflect on the last year and how special it's been."
His pink bats didn't get to the ballpark in time for his debut, so he couldn't celebrate Mother's Day that way last year. He did get his pink bats this year as well as some pink shoes, which is all part of Major League Baseball's "Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer" initiative.
Happ, who hit 24 home runs -- including a homer in his Major League debut -- and batted .253 in 115 games last season, said he felt like one of the guys as soon as he joined the Cubs in St. Louis in May 2017.
"To be a part of this thing and feel like you belong here is cool," Happ said. "A year ago, I came up and was just trying to help for a few days, and I ended up staying. Coming to camp this year and being part of the team, and now on the team and with these guys, it's pretty cool."
Bote's versatility appeals to Maddon
David Bote, 25, was an 18th-round pick in the 2012 Draft, and he got Maddon's attention this spring with his versatile play.
"He's probably one of those guys the gaggle of scouts wasn't talking about," Maddon said. "When the gaggle gets together, they anoint people to be the next whatever.
"I like him, I really think he's a good player, and I think the way he's gotten here is going to speak well for him. Also, I like guys from Colorado. They don't play a lot growing up. The weather's bad to the point where the season is normally shorter, and guys like that really blossom later if they're good. I think he might be one of those guys."
Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat.