The Cubs have placed young righty Adbert Alzolay on the injured list at their top affiliate, as Tony Andracki of NBC Sports Chicago was among those to cover on Twitter. Alzolay, who was pulled from his most recent outing, is said to be dealing with biceps inflammation.
That’s not necessarily a worrying bit of injury news — so long as it’s not a euphemistic way of characterizing a more serious underlying problem. But it will no doubt be handled with an abundance of caution for a talented, 24-year-old pitcher who already missed a long stretch late last year with a lat injury.
Alzolay had put himself firmly on the MLB map. He reached the majors for the first time earlier this year, allowing nine earned runs in 11 1/3 innings with a 12:7 K/BB ratio. Like many other pitchers, he was done in by long balls (4). But he also showed a 94 mph heater and 10.6% swinging-strike rate in his brief stint. Though Alzolay has also been hit around a bit at Triple-A this year, he’s also carrying 12.4 K/9 against 4.1 BB/9 through his 43 2/3 innings at the club’s top affiliate.
Having already dealt Mike Montgomery, and without the possibility of swinging any trades after the end of this month, the Cubs would surely like to have Alzolay available as a rotation option if a need arises. And there’s always the chance of a live-armed youngster functioning in some kind of relief capacity down the stretch and even into the postseason.