Questions and concerns regarding the Chicago Cubs bullpen

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Question #3: Will Thompson or Alzolay's roles evolve?

As mentioned earlier, Alzolay has come into games often following the departure of a starting pitcher. So far this year he sports a 2.92 ERA, 2.70 FIP 0.92 WHIP, 15 strikeouts and three walks in 12.1 innings. At the start of the year he had pitched multiple innings, but recently he has been limited to 1.0 or less innings over his past five appearances.

One could ask if he is evolving into being a one-inning guy and maybe a future high-leverage pitcher, or if this is just how things have worked out in recent games. It would be nice to have him go multiple innings if the starters cannot make it past the fifth inning, just to save some bullets in the pen. Though if he is needed in certain spots then he has the stuff to do it. Something to keep an eye on as the season goes along.

What makes Alzolay's role interesting compared to Thompson's, who we have seen in higher leverage spots, is that Thompson has more walks and fewer strikeouts, as mentioned earlier. Thomspon has only given up two earned runs to his credit and stayed cool in tough situations. That said, one can worry about how long he can sustain walking more guys than desired and getting out of it.

If Thompson is still getting through the innings and not giving up runs, he will pitch where he is. Things could change if the walks turn into too many runs. Hopefully, he can cut down on the walks and continue to be effective. Do not want to rip on Thompson too much as he has come up with some big outs so far this year and he deserves credit for it.