The Cubs activated right-hander Adbert Alzolay to start Monday against Cleveland. In a corresponding move, they optioned left-handed reliever Kyle Ryan to Triple-A Iowa.
Alzolay was out for two weeks with a blister on his right middle finger.
“He still played catch, just not spinning the baseball a lot,” Cubs manager David Ross said of Alzolay’s progression back to action, “stayed on his arm program, let the trainers do their job, let the blister heal, let the fingernail heal, get all the dead skin off there, and let it recover the right way.”
The Cubs have hit a rough patch while Alzolay and fellow starting rotation-member Trevor Williams (appendicitis) have been on the 10-day injured list. In addition to the Cubs’ scoring numbers slipping, their starting pitchers haven’t made it past the fifth inning in five of their past seven games. The Cubs have lost all but one of those short starts, plus Zach Davies’ eight-run outing.
Alzolay has never pitched a full MLB season, and the Cubs have been cognizant of the rookie’s workload this year. Ross reiterated on Monday that the Cubs have not predetermined an innings limit for him this season.
“He's obviously a huge piece for us and pitching big innings for us,” Ross said. “He's given us a chance to win and continues to grow every time out. So, in my mind that he's going to continue to help us as long as he's healthy and pitching the way he’s capable of.”
‘Mini spring training’ for Trevor Williams
Williams is scheduled to travel with the team to Los Angeles to continue building back up after undergoing an appendectomy three weeks ago.
“He's cleared from the doctor,” Ross said. “Now it's just about getting his body back ready and his arm back in shape.”
Williams will go through a program that Ross likened to a “mini spring training” before returning.