Wednesday, July 10, 2024

Cubs’ Pitching Reinforcements Near Return As They Try To Stay Afloat

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The Achilles heel of the Chicago Cubs throughout the 2024 season has been injuries to their pitching staff. At this point, it feels like just about every major pitcher who would contribute to the Cubs’ success has spent time on the IL at some point this season. When you look at their rotation, every starter besides Shota Imanaga has seen an appearance on the IL and many essential relievers. Thankfully, with some latest injury updates, help seems to be coming. 

Based on the latest update from Marquee Sports, Taylor McGregor, pitching reinforcements seem to be making some positive strides forward toward returning to the Cubs. 

Her first update is on Adbert Alzolay, who was transferred to the 60-day IL last month with a right forearm strain. Alzolay was supposed to be the Cubs’ closer heading into 2024, but his season was filled with struggles. It seems like he is progressing on his injury, and we can expect to see him sooner rather than later. 

One of the most significant updates on injuries is seemingly Julian Merryweather. He is officially on a rehab assignment in Iowa and looked really good in his first appearance. The Cubs relied heavily on Merryweather last season, and early on, it seemed like it would be more of the same heading into 2024. The Cubs could use him as they are looking for a flame thrower arm in the back end of their bullpen, something they seemingly have not had all season long, apart from a couple of rookies. 

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Another vital contributor to this year’s Cubs has been Javier Assad who has been on the IL since late June with a right forearm extensor strain. Assad will look to throw a bullpen here soon, with some expecting him to be back in time for this weekend’s series against the Cardinals. Assad will be a welcome return to the Cub’s pitching staff, who are currently relying on the inconsistencies of Hayden Wesneski and Kyle Hendricks in the back end of their rotation. 

Finally, another note of importance is that Caleb Kilian is continuing to progress and, at some point, could make a return to the Major League. It was projected early on in the season that he would impact the major league squad this season, but an injury ultimately sidelined him and pushed him even further back. It would be super important for Kilian’s return with the idea in mind that the Cubs are projecting towards selling at this year’s trade deadline and him potentially finding a spot in the starting rotation at some point late in this season. 

Injuries have killed the Cubs all season, as the squad has seemingly been repeatedly killed by injuries. If they can just get even close to full strength down this stretch run to potentially make a late-season push towards a Wild Card spot, it would be huge for them to be able to get some of these players back to do so. 

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