Cubs place Alzolay on 10-day IL, face rotation questions

USA Today

The Cubs placed right-hander Adbert Alzolay on the 10-day injured list with a mild left hamstring strain Saturday.

The team will have a better sense of a timetable for Alzolay’s return when he resumes baseball activities, but the Cubs did not have a timeline for that step either.

“It just sucks,” Alzolay said. “I’ve never had a problem with my legs before. It's something that is really weird.”

Less than a week after the Cubs shifted to a six-man rotation, they have just four starting pitchers on the active roster. On Thursday, the Cubs announced they had released veteran right-hander Jake Arrieta. As they placed Alzolay on the IL on Saturday, the Cubs recalled reliever Trevor Megill.

An off day this coming week gives the Cubs flexibility as they plot out this turn in the rotation. They also have right-hander Keegan Thompson stretching out on a starter’s schedule in Triple-A Iowa.

Ross didn’t get into details on the plan for Thompson moving forward, saying on Saturday: “we'll continue to monitor that, just like we did (left-hander) Justin Steele, as he was getting built up.”

Steele joined the rotation this week, after working back from a hamstring strain and then remaining with the Iowa Cubs to transition into a starting role. He and Thompson both debuted this year and carved out bullpen spots for themselves early in the season.


In Thompson’s most recent start for Iowa, last Tuesday, he threw four shutout innings.

“It’s pretty special for me,” Alzolay said of his fellow rookie pitchers, “because they're getting that opportunity to do what they know how to do, which is being starting pitchers. They've been doing it through their whole minor league careers. So, I feel that now everything that is going on is a good chance for them to go these one and a half (months) that we have left and show that they can be part of this rotation and we can do something special going into 2022 and beyond.”

Alzolay lands on the IL after exiting the Cubs’ 14-10 loss at Miami early on Friday. He said he started feeling tightness at the back of his knee two batters into the bottom half of the second inning. He tried to push through it, but the injury started affecting his pitches. He was missing his spots high, and his slider was flat.

“With the last hitter (I faced), the last two pitches was when I really feel like something wasn't right in my legs,” Alzolay said. “So, that's why I called out the trainer.”

Alzolay left the game with one out in the second, two batters after giving up a go-ahead grand slam to Marlins outfielder Bryan De La Cruz.

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