Chicago Cubs: Five prospects who will play in Chicago this season

Nico Hoerner / Chicago Cubs (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
Nico Hoerner / Chicago Cubs (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs: Where will Alzolay fit in with the 2020 big league club?

The range of possibilities for Adbert Alzolay in 2020 are as varied as just about anyone in baseball at the moment not named Mookie Betts. Well, maybe even more so, because at least Betts knows he’s going to be playing in the majors.

As a guy who made (and won) his big-league debut to much ballyhoo in 2019, Alzolay both delighted and disappointed in Chicago last season. In his first two starts, the right-hander showed exactly why he was promoted to such acclaim as he tossed 8 2/3 frames, striking out nine and giving up just two earned runs. Of course, he also gave up seven tallies in 2 2/3 innings in his third start in Pittsburgh, so Cubs fans have seen both good and bad from the young hurler.

Where does this leave Alzolay in 2020? Well, without Cole Hamels in the rotation and the uncertainty of who will be the fifth Cubs starter, there’s every chance it could be Alzolay. It also could be Alec Mills or Tyler Chatwood at the moment, but the spring will no doubt determine much of that decision for new manager David Ross and the front office.

If Alzolay looks like the guy who was mowing them down in his first two starts, it very well could be him. If not, he could be back in Iowa to stay stretched out or he could remain in Chicago in a bullpen role. He also could assume the Mike Montgomery/Eddie Butler/Chatwood role from the past couple seasons as well, manning the pen but also able to spot start or piggyback when needed.

While I’m rooting for Alzolay to grasp that fifth spot and hold on tightly for the entire season, it’s altogether possible that he will be a key cog in the pen for most of the year, able to give Ross multiple innings several times a week or ride the Iowa shuttle at times.