Adbert Alzolay will begin the year on the Cubs’ Injured List

(Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)
(Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Cubs will reportedly be without one of their key bullpen arms as Adbert Alzolay will begin the year on the Injured List. According to Jed Hoyer, the big righty is dealing with shoulder tightness, and his stint will not be a “short one.”

Well then, that’s not the news you want to hear. The Cubs were already dealing with the loss of Codi Heuer for the season. They did add some help in the form of Jesse Chavez over the weekend but it feels like one step forward, two steps back right now.

Alzolay made 21 starts last season, posting a 5.16 ERA and allowing 24 home runs in 106.1 innings of work. Once September rolled around, the 27-year-old was moved to the bullpen and saw significantly improved results.

In eight appearances, Alzolay tossed a 1.40 ERA, allowing just one home run in 19.1 innings to go along with a 9.8 K/9. If he could pitch like that at any point when he returns, he should be a big part of the staff.

The Chicago Cubs will be without Adbert Alzolay to start the 2022 season.

His timeline to return is unknown at this point but per Hoyer’s words, it’s an injury that could take some time. And obviously, you want Alzolay to return at 100 percent to avoid it lingering further.

Hoyer also noted, “an urgency” to sign free agents to get them into camp and get them going with the shortened timeline. He said that the Cubs would specifically be looking at pitching and pitching depth.

Given that, I’d expect the northsiders to add a couple of key names within the next couple of days, with a couple of spots open in the bullpen at the moment.

Alzolay made significant improvements to his cutter as a reliever, limiting opposing batters to a .167 average, largely improved from the .280 average allowed as a starting pitcher. Hopefully, he is able to get healthy and return to the baseball diamond in short order.

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