CINCINNATI – Center fielder Ian Happ was removed during the eighth inning of Sunday’s 13-12 loss to the Reds after colliding with second baseman Nico Hoerner.
The collision occurred on a popup to shallow center field with Happ and Hoerner converging on the ball. As Hoerner reached out to make the over-the-shoulder catch, a sliding Happ collided with him, leaving both players lying on the ground in pain.
The Cubs’ medical staff immediately came out along with manager David Ross to check on Happ, who took the brunt of the hit. He was on the ground for several minutes, before being able to get to an upright seated position and being assisted onto the cart.
“Hearing the two of them coming together like being close to it. I don’t want to see that again,” Kris Bryant said. “Thankfully, he’s in there. I was talking to him and made sure to let him know that he had a great game.”
Hoerner would stay in the game and move to left field with Bryant moving to center field.
“I have not talked to the trainer’s yet,” manager David Ross said after the game. “I talked to Ian. He feels fine. Pretty, pretty good. blow to the face. I haven’t heard the doctor’s report yet, but I did talk to Ian and he’s in good spirits.”
Hoerner stays hot
Hoerner is playing like he has something to prove and since being recalled from the team’s alternate site on April 22, he’s been a man on a mission.
The 23-year-old infielder has picked up right where he left off during spring training and provided a spark in a lineup that needed one. He’s hitting .389 (14-for-36) with six doubles, eight walks, seven strikeouts and three stolen bases in 11 games.
“He’s a baseball player, man. He’s a really good baseball player. That’s what I love about him,” Ross said. “He’s always studying and trying to be better. He’s got a plan and he’s willing to do anything we ask. It’s a really consistent at-bat. You think a lot of us knew who he was and he’s out to prove something which is a really powerful thing.”
“Over the course of the season comes a lot of different feels,” Hoerner said. “But the good thing is that the work has been really consistent and pretty much maintained the same routines as the beginning of spring, which I haven’t always done. I have a great support staff here and really feel like I’m in a spot where I’m both learning on the fly in a really healthy way as well as helping the team win on a daily basis and that’s my priority moving forward.”