Chicago Cubs provide devastating injury update on Adbert Alzolay

Adbert Alzolay's return this season may not happen.
Miami Marlins v Chicago Cubs
Miami Marlins v Chicago Cubs / Matt Dirksen/GettyImages

For the hope trafficking that Chicago Cubs fans had over the idea of the team trading for Mason Miller, the easiest path to the Cubs' bullpen finding stability this season was going to be their pitchers getting healthy.

Included in that mix was Adbert Alzolay, whose stint on the IL was a legitimate injury. The demoted closer has been dealing with his second forearm strain since last September. The fear when Alzolay suffered the first forearm strain last September was that the injury may be a precursor to Tommy John surgery.

It would seem that fear has returned as Craig Counsell provided an ominous update on Alzolay prior to the Cubs' victory over the Atlanta Braves on Tuesday.

The latest on Adbert Alzolay's injury does not sound good.

If the Cubs' initial diagnosis of Alzolay was encouraging, there wouldn't have been a need for a second opinion. In most cases, second opinions are the final step before a pitcher ultimately undergoes season-ending surgery.

Despite his struggles this season, Alzolay has been one of the Cubs' best relievers since 2020. He has posted a Sub-3 ERA out of the bullpen since 2020. Above all else, what the Cubs bullpen needed the most this season was the healthy return of Alzolay.

It is becoming less likely that Alzolay will return this season for the Cubs, which may heighten the team's urgency to make an external move. Health will still play a factor for the Cubs' bullpen, as they need Julian Merryweather to return and repeat his success from 2023, but the idea of depending on only three relievers—Merryweather, Mark Leiter Jr., and Hector Neris—is the same flaw that the team had last year.

Whether moving Ben Brown to the closer's role or trading for an established closer, the Cubs need to be ready to pull any level they need to find success out of the bullpen this season.