Chicago Cubs: With Hendricks heading to the IL, will Alzolay be next man up?
The first and foremost thought in most Cubs’ fans’ minds upon hearing of Hendricks’ IL stint: does this mean Alzolay will be called up to start a game? And, quite honestly, who can blame anyone for wanting to see a guy who we’ve all heard about for the last couple years?
Alzolay, after suffering a lat injury to end his 2018 season, has been really effective at Iowa this season, and the Cubs might want to see what he can do in a start before bringing him up in the pen later in the season. Alzolay has also been lights-out of late, giving up only six runs in his last 28 innings, spanning 5 starts since May 22.
In fact, Theo Epstein recently touted the effectiveness of the Cubs’ top pitching prospect and didn’t pull any punches when admitting that Alzolay might be an option heading into next week. With the front office’s desire to get him a spot start, rather than just throwing him into the pen, Alzolay might want to keep his phone’s ringer on the next few days.
Alzolay’s first big league start would serve a few purposes for the Cubs and their fans. First and foremost, it could help the club win if he pitches well in a spot start for the injured Hendricks. Secondly, it could show the club if their top farmhand is ready for the big lights of Wrigley. It could also create an easier (or much more difficult, depending on your perspective) decision regarding whether or not to add more ammo to a bullpen that has been oft-maligned this season.