Chicago Cubs: Adbert Ahoy!

Chicago Cubs (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Chicago Cubs (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /

After the first two intense rounds of the Crosstown Classic, the Chicago Cubs ended things on a high note. Beyond that, there appears to be something of a very anticipated and rather hyped debut.

No, former Chicago Cubs prospect Eloy Jimenez already made his Wrigley Field debut with one big swing. I’m talking about current Chicago Cubs prospect Adbert Alzolay.

After Wednesday night’s 7-3 victory over the Southsiders, Joe Maddon informed the press that the Cubs’ top pitching prospect was going to be suiting up tonight against the Mets:

While the team’s “super sub” Tyler Chatwood is scheduled to toe the rubber against Walker Lockett, it is almost a certainty that Alzolay will make his Major League debut at some point tonight.

Depending on how Chatwood performs out of the gate, this could be an “opener” kind of situation. Should Chatwood and his wicked yet erratic stuff can find the zone, he won’t be called upon to do much of the heavy lifting.

Should he falter?

Alzolay will finally get the chance to show the Cubs fans what the hype is all about. The 24-year-old figured to join the team last season, however, a right lat injury put those hopes to rest. The rightie features a plus fastball with some running life that can touch the mid to upper 90s, a plus curveball with great depth, and an improving changeup. There’s a good chance we’ll see all three pitches on display tonight and on.

In his time at Triple-A Iowa this season, he’s posted a 3.09 ERA, a 46/6 K/BB ratio, and a 0.94 WHIP. While he will be facing stronger competition (regardless of what you think of the Mets), Alzolay will have the element of surprise on his side.

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Depending on the situation surrounding Kyle Hendrick’s shoulder impingement, it’s possible Alzolay becomes more than just a heavy-lifting arm of a bullpen day. I doubt we’ll see Maddon opt to a six-man rotation in the future, given that he hasn’t really done that since coming to Chicago, but should Hendricks or Yu Darvish or someone else in the rotation suffer an injury, the Cubs’ newest (not priciest) addition will get a chance to bask in the limelight and own the moment.