Chicago Cub Place Struggling Reliever on Injured List

It has not been the season that the Chicago Cubs and one of their top bullpen arms imagined after he was named their closer during the winter.

Mar 31, 2024; Arlington, Texas, USA; Chicago Cubs relief pitcher Adbert Alzolay (73)

Prior to getting injured in 2023, Adbert Alzolay emerged as one of their best relievers and seemed to be the closer that this organization had been searching for.

When he went down, the bullpen unit completely fell apart and was one of the major reasons why the Cubs missed the playoffs. With that in mind, and knowing they would get the emerging right-hander back, the front office searched for additional relief help in the offseason.

But, instead of being the steadying factor that Chicago could rely on to close out games, he became a complete liability when he led all of Major League Baseball in blown saves.

Manager Craig Counsell removed him from that role in hopes that he could be able to find himself when pitching in lower-leverage situations, but Alzolay continued to struggle.

Now, the 29-year-old finds himself sidelined again as he’s been moved to the 15-day injured list with a right forearm strain according to Taylor McGregor of Marquee Sports Network. In a corresponding move, they have called up fellow right-hander Jose Cuas from Triple-A to take his place.

While nobody wants to see anyone get hurt, this honestly might be a blessing in disguise for Alzolay.

When rehabbing from his injury, he’ll have the opportunity to work on things that he struggled with during the early portion of the season without having to do so under the spotlight that the MLB provides.

Counsell said that the Cubs need the best version of the former closer, and with the bullpen struggles that they’ve still had so far, that certainly is the case.

Cuas will now get another opportunity to showcase what he can do at this level following his demotion after making the Opening Day roster and different stints between the minor and bigs throughout the year.

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