Although one might have liked to see him go deeper into the ballgame on Monday night, Chicago Cubs right-hander Adbert Alzolay looked sharp early on against the Cleveland Indians. He certainly shouldn’t be singled out for the North Siders dropping a 4-0 contest in front of the home faithful.
It’s been and up-and-down season so far for the Cubs who, after rebounding from a slow start in April with a strong month of May, have come back down to earth here in June. The team’s starting pitching takes a lot of the blame here – and Alzolay has represented one of the only bright spots on that front here in 2021.
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The 26-year-old Alzolay had been on the injured list since early June when he came out of his start against San Diego with a blister. The next day, he was placed on the IL, where he remained until Monday night.
So far this season, Alzolay has posted a 4.19 ERA across 12 starts spanning 62 1/3 innings pitched. Not only that, he is up to 67 strikeouts on the season so far. Alzolay has also spent a lot of time in the minor leagues and had very little playing time in the major leagues before 2021. In 2020, he had a total of six MLB appearances to his name. Across his few starts in last season, though, he did post a 2.95 ERA – which led many to believe he’d get a look heading into 2021.
Chicago Cubs: We can’t forget, Adbert Alzolay is still developing
With all things considered, Alzolay used the opportunity he was granted in the starting rotation in 2021 to his advantage. He has been continued to show progress as he develops, and has wound up being one of the best in the starting rotation, especially with how things currently stand.
Kyle Hendricks and Zach Davies are both looking better. Jake Arrieta has really been struggling, and Trevor Williams is still out after an emergency surgery last month. Hopefully, Alzolay’s return will help pick up some slack in the weeks to come.
As the Chicago Cubs get through 2021 and look onward to the future, Alzolay is someone who will work hard to succeed and be his best for this ball club. Considering this season’s starting pitching woes, hopefully, Alzolay continues building on what he’s done – and cements his place in the team’s long-term plans.