"He'll come out of the 'pen," Ross said. "Try to control his innings out of the 'pen, unless something changes in our rotation."
The move to the bullpen doesn't mean Alzolay won't be in the mix for a starting spot next spring. Workloads for every pitcher have been a topic since spring training coming off the shortened 60-game 2020 season, especially young pitchers.
Alzolay has tossed 108 1/3 innings this season, including a recent two-inning injury rehab start with Triple-A Iowa. He threw 21 1/3 innings for the Cubs in 2020 while spending a chunk of the season at the club's alternate site.
His career-high for a season at any level is 120 1/3, set back in 2016.
At one point this season, Alzolay looked like the best pitcher on the Cubs staff. In seven starts from April 29 to June 2, he went 4-2 with a 2.95 ERA. He struck out 41 compared to six walks in 39 2/3 innings.
In 10 starts since returning from the injured list (blister) on June 21, he's 0-8 with a 6.47 ERA. That doesn't include his June 7 start in which he aggravated the blister and exited after three innings.