Cubs: 3 obvious changes the team has to make to be a contender

Mandatory Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports /
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Adbert Alzolay / Chicago Cubs
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Cubs need to let Adbert Alzolay pitch every five days

This starting rotation is pretty not great as it currently stands.

You’re not going to win games for years to come behind guys like Trevor Williams or an ineffective Zach Davies. But you just might with a rotation built around Kyle Hendricks and Adbert Alzolay. And for that reason, we need to see what the latter is capable of over the course of a season.

On Saturday, the team optioned Kyle Ryan back to the alternate site just one day after he made his 2021 debut in order to bring Alzolay back from South Bend to start against the Brewers.

The team is proceeding with caution when it comes to their young right-hander given he’s never thrown more than 120 innings in a single season. They can watch his workload while keeping him in the big league rotation. At some point, you just have to let a guy go out and take the ball every five days to see what you have.

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We’re at that point with Alzolay. With Alec Mills in the bullpen, Chicago can always piggyback him with the right-hander to control his inning count. But you can’t be content having him down at South Bend. We need to know what he’s got to offer long-term. Is is ready to build upon his strong 2020 showing? There’s only one way to find out.