Friday, June 7, 2024

Sadly Looks Like It’s Over For Another Beloved Cubs Pitcher

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I mean, what else is there to say anymore. Adbert Alzolay has been awful so far in 2024 and he’s not showing any signs of getting better. He flat out sucks right now and the unfortunate thing is that his time with the team could be coming to an end. I know that’s extreme because he was literally one of the best relievers in baseball for a huge chunk of the 2023 season, but I don’t know how the Cubs can justify keeping him in the bullpen longterm with his current struggles.

You might say that the simple solution is to send Alzolay to the minors, but it’s not that easy. The right-handed reliever is out of minor league options, so the Cubs would have to put him on waivers before he’d be assigned to the minors. I don’t know, maybe he accepts a phantom injury list stint, you know, like how Kyle Hendricks had a back injury randomly pop up after his start with the Miami Marlins.

This sucks, man. Alzolay has been in the Cubs organization since 2013. He’s only know the Cubs as a pro and as fans we’ve seen his ups and downs, and it finally looked like Alzolay had found a place as a major leaguer following some injuries that slowed down his progress in previous years.

However, Alzolay is looking like another example of how volatile relievers can be. We saw it with Keegan Thompson, who was spectacular in 2022, then was really bad in 2023. But there’s hope there because Thompson has come back and been solid once again this season.

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But again, Alzolay’s circumstances are different and the Cubs don’t have the benefit of sending him directly to Triple-A, so that he can figure it out and he has a lot to figure out.

Friday was Alzolay’s latest blow up, as he came in to protect a 1-0 lead with one out in the eighth inning against the Milwaukee Brewers. He proceeded to allow three runs on four hits. Alzolay cannot locate his pitches and he just does not have the quality stuff to get away with his mistakes over the plate.

Batters are all over Alzolay this year, batting nearly .300 against him in 13 innings of work. Alzolay has also given up five home runs already, matching last year’s total.

Justin Steele is returning to the starting rotation on Monday. At that point I think the Cubs should make Ben Brown available out of the bullpen while Hayden Wesneski continues to fill in at the back end of the rotation. As for Alzolay, I don’t know, but the Cubs can’t continue to piss games away with him on the mound.

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