Cubs play one of their last remaining cards with a struggling Adbert Alzolay

Chicago placed the right-hander on the 15-day IL with a forearm strain on the team's off-day as he continues to search for answers on the mound.
Milwaukee Brewers v Chicago Cubs
Milwaukee Brewers v Chicago Cubs / Nuccio DiNuzzo/GettyImages

It's been a forgettable start to the season for Chicago Cubs reliever Adbert Alzolay, who has continued to struggle even in a diminished, lower-leverage role in Craig Counsell's bullpen.

The latest chapter in this story? A trip to the injured list.

One would hope the IL stint could give the Cubs and Alzolay some time to work through his issues because what he's done is entirely unsustainable. Given the rate at which he's allowed home runs this year, it would be malpractice on the part of Counsell to use him in any scenario where a long ball could impact the outcome of the game.

Chicago Cubs can't trust Adbert Alzolay in any situation right now

On the season, Alzolay has a 4.67 ERA and has somehow been even worse in his last 7 appearances, with a 5.68 ERA to go along with a 1.74 WHIP. Those numbers aren't palatable in any role, let alone a late-inning one so now it's on the righty and the organization to get to the bottom of his issues. An IL stint felt like the last card the team had to play - short of designating him for assignment and ending his Cubs career altogether, something they seem very unlikely to do.

Removing Alzolay from the equation for the time being would be a net positive, if not for the fact the man replacing him in the pen, Jose Cuas, has also struggled this season. He hasn't exactly been a force at Iowa, either, which doesn't give me a ton of faith in what his return will net at the big league level.

Hector Neris, at least for the time being, will be the ninth-inning guy for the Cubs. But make no mistake, the clock is ticking there, too. He's wiggled out of too many self-inflicted jams to think he'll keep escaping unscathed. For now, Chicago is just trying to hold things down until Jordan Wicks and, eventually, Julian Merryweather return. One thing is for sure: reinforcements are definitely needed.