The Chicago Cubs called up top pitching prospect Adbert Alzolay to provide support for Tyler Chatwood’s spot start. How did he look?
Chicago Cubs top pitching prospect Adbert Alzolay made his debut in the series opener against the New York Mets on Thursday night, providing support for starter Tyler Chatwood. He entered the game with a 6-3 lead in the 5th inning and definitely looked amped up against the first couple batters as some of his pitches got away from him.
He’s walked just six guys in 32.0 innings for Triple-A Iowa so his command has generally been solid. In that 5th inning, Alzolay recorded his first major league out via foul pop-up to the third base side. Kris Bryant tossed the ball back into the dugout so the rookie could remember the moment forever.
Alzolay walked the next batter but then got a line drive out and struck out Michael Conforto on an 86 mph changeup to finish the inning. He looked really sharp against Conforto and perhaps just needed a couple of outs to calm his nerves.
He even got a chance to show his stuff at the plate as he came up with the bases loaded and 2 outs in the bottom half of the inning. Although he made solid contact, he grounded it right to the second basemen to end the inning.
Alzolay was back out there in the 6th inning and displayed his pitching arsenal while striking out the side via Todd Frazier on an 87 mph slider, Wilson Ramos on a 95 mph fastball and Amed Rosario on a 96 mph fastball. He was absolutely feeling it in the inning and, as previously noted, just needed that first couple of outs to get rid himself of any anxiety.
He started the 7th inning with a moon-shot that died just before the basket. Off the bat, I thought Alzolay had given up his first major league home run. Thankfully, it was just a loud out. He breezed through the rest of the inning at just 32 pitches in three innings of his big league debut.
Overall, I thought he looked terrific in his four innings of work and this performance should make him the front-runner start in place of Kyle Hendricks in 5 days. He gave up a bomb to Todd Frazier in the top half of the 9th inning and then walked the next batter, but who cares? He was awesome in his major league debut.
Hopefully, this is the first of many pitchers that the Cubs are able to develop.