In his last start of spring training, rookie Adbert Alzolay faced what could have been a Dodgers regular season lineup.
Alzolay held the Dodgers scoreless through three innings Thursday, before exiting with two runners on base and two outs.
“A lot of All-Stars in that lineup,” Cubs manager David Ross said of the Dodgers the next day. “Really good veteran group that knows how to have really good at-bats. Adbert looked as sharp as anybody last night, one of our better options. … He threw well in the ‘B’ game (last week), and then last night, he looked like a major-league starter to me.”
Ross has yet to announce his opening rotation beyond the first three slots – Kyle Hendricks, Jake Arrieta and Zach Davies. Trevor Williams is expected to claim another starting role. That leaves Alec Mills, Shelby Miller and Alzolay competing for the last rotation spot.
As good as Alzolay was Friday night, he’s been inconsistent this spring. After a scoreless first outing, Alzolay allowed a combined eight runs against the Diamondbacks and Royals. But in a “B” game last week, Alzolay refined the shape of his slider and synced up his throwing motion.
On Friday, Alzolay allowed just one hit and issued one walk, both in the fourth inning. Both runners scored after he left the game.
“The slider was good, fastball command was what stood out to me,” Ross said. “The breaking stuff’s been really good, and a lot of swing-and-miss. There was real separation between the breaking ball and the slider. I don’t even know if he threw any changeups, and the fastball command was impressive. Nice outing for him, under the lights, it felt like a big-league game.”
Alzolay struck out both Mookie Betts and Cody Bellinger on high heaters. Betts checked his swing on a called third strike. Bellinger swung and missed. Alzolay recorded five strikeouts in all.