Happ was placed on the 10-day IL with a left rib contusion, joining Hoerner, who hit the IL on Sunday with a left forearm strain. Prior to Friday’s game against the Pirates at Wrigley Field, Happ took batting practice on the field and did some running; it was a final test, which he didn’t pass.
“It’s just not progressing as quick as we wanted it to,” Happ said. “It was getting better. I thought it would start to clear up quicker, and I went out for BP today, ran around, tried to push it a little bit and just knew that I wasn’t gonna be able to do enough to help the team. We need options off the bench, [and we] need outfielders.”
Happ’s IL stint is backdated to last Tuesday, May 4, the longest allowable amount under MLB rules, meaning he’ll be eligible to return on May 14 against the Tigers.
The timing of the injury is unfortunate for Happ, given that his performance on Sunday -- 3-for-5 with a double and a home run -- marked his first multihit game of the season. On the plus side, Happ said his swing “still feels good,” and that the rib contusion is more bothersome when running and throwing than it is when hitting.
Happ will be shut down for “at least a couple days” in order to rest, with the aim of taking swings again by the end of the weekend or early next week. It’s a recovery process he thought he might avoid altogether, but now he wants to make sure it’s done right so no additional injuries surface as a result of overcompensation.
“You don’t realize how much you use your core and your rib cage until you can’t,” Happ said.
• To provide outfield depth, the Cubs selected the contract of Nick Martini from Triple-A Iowa. Martini, who signed with the Cubs on Jan. 2, has a career .751 OPS across 87 games in 2018-19 with the A’s and Padres. He went 3-for-30 (.100) in Spring Training.
• Right-handed reliever Jason Adam was recalled from Iowa. He was optioned to the alternate training site on April 26 and assigned to Triple-A on April 30. This is his second season with the Cubs, and so far in 2021, he has allowed seven runs in 6 2/3 innings for a 9.45 ERA.
• To make room for the 40-man roster addition of Martini, left-hander Kyle Ryan was designated for assignment. Ryan was one of three lefty options currently in the Cubs’ bullpen, and he has allowed five hits, two walks and a run in 2 2/3 innings (3.38 ERA) this year.