Whether Cubs fans like it or not, it appears Addison Russell is going to be playing in Wrigley sooner, rather than later. That's the message Joe Maddon got out to the masses on Friday afternoon.

The team's manager talked briefly about the team's extended plans for the shortstop, and while he remains in Iowa for now, it doesn't appear that will be the case in the coming weeks. ‘It’s not far off,’’ Maddon told the gathered media. ‘‘It’s not far off, from what I understand. I’ve heard some good things. Typically, everybody wants to rush things.

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When you don’t have to rush things, it’s actually a better method, I think.’’

Not far off

When Maddon was talking about "rushing things" he was talking about the fact that the Cubs could have called up Russell on Friday. That was the day his 40 game suspension was officially over.

Instead of making the move to bring him to Chicago, the team decided to keep him in Iowa. Some of the reasons they decided to do that were apparently because they are looking to get him up to speed is so he can play second base.

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There is also the very real fallout that is going to come when he finally does play and those who are angry about the domestic abuse situation. It appears they might be trying to make sure people get used to the idea that he will be here sooner or later.

Certainly, when Maddon is talking about not rushing things, he could be talking about not rushing people having to get used to Addison Russell being in the bigs again.

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There were plenty of people who didn't want him on the Chicago Cubs at all. They might get used to the idea of Russell if they know there's a chance he can come up at any time.

Ian Happ could be coming with him

When Addison Russell does finally get the call to the Chicago Cubs, it seems possible he won't be going by himself. In fact, yet another middle infielder could be getting the call as well.

Ian Happ has spent the entire 2019 season so far in Iowa, working on trying to cut down his strikeouts. For a while, it didn't appear as though that work was amounting to anything. Happ still boasts a strikeout rate of more than 25 percent.

What has been interesting to watch is that as the games have gone on, his strikeout rate has gone down. The Cubs are likely watching closely since Ben Zobrist is looking every bit the 38-year-old that he is so far this year.

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Coming into Friday's game, Happ had managed to go 27 straight plate appearances without getting a K. That's a huge improvement over what he had been doing.

There is one drawback to Happ's latest turnaround. He also isn't hitting with any power lately. The Chicago Cubs would likely be more than happy to call up the young slugger as soon as possible, but he's going to need to be a slugger again first.

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