As Spring Training officially ramps up this week, the Chicago Cubs' front office shared some important information with reporters. One such point is the fact that Adbert Alzolay's season will start with him on the IL. In addition, reporters learned that Ian Happ underwent surgery back in February. The surgery was on his elbow apparently to clean out some loose bodies. The Cubs believe he'll be ready for Opening Day, but could be limited in the field to start.
Happ played an important role for the Cubs down the stretch late in the season. After a weird up and down season for Happ, he put together a great stretch in August and September to finish the season. It seems for Happ, consistency is key entering 2022, but will this injury hold him back early on in the season? The Cubs and their fans certainly hope that isn't the case, but we won't know for sure until Happ starts playing in games on a regular basis.
Despite a strange 2021 season, Happ set a personal-best for home runs with 25. His 66 RBIs nearly matched his career high as well from 2017. Although he sported a low overall average, he hit .323 in September after hitting .255 in August with a hot second half of the month. If Happ gets regular looks in big spots this coming season, we could see a career-best season for the former first round pick.
Happ's ability to stay healthy will be key to a turnaround season in 2022. Hopefully his elbow doesn't hold him back this season.