Injury roller coaster: Cubs get promising news on Adbert Alzolay, scratch Nico Hoerner from lineup vs. Braves – Chicago Sun-Times

ATLANTA – The diagnosis was better than Cubs reliever Adbert Alzolay expected. Imaging showed he’d sustained a flexor strain in his right elbow.

Craig Counsell

“We were pretty concerned,” Alzolay said Tuesday before the Cubs’ 7-0 loss against the Braves, “but I think it’s not going to be that bad.”

He’d avoided the worst-case scenario – Tommy John surgery – and was instead dealing with a familiar ailment. Alzolay came back from a similar forearm injury in September last year. This go-around, the plan is for him to rest and undergo treatment for the next five days, Alzolay said, and then decide if he can start throwing.

“We still have a pitcher on the injured list with an elbow issue,” manager Craig Counsell said. “But I think overall it was good news. … We have some light at the end of the tunnel quickly.”

The timing wasn’t ideal, with the Cubs’ bullpen depth already decimated by injuries, and Alzolay making progress mechanically.

“It’s a bad feeling,” Alzolay said, “because I was finally feeling like more of myself, velo was coming back and everything, and then this happens. So, it’s just kind of frustrating.”

A long-term injury, however, would have been a much bigger blow for a team that’s already searching for ways to stabilize their bullpen. The Cubs traded for right-handed reliever Tyson Miller, who joined the team Tuesday.

He, like injured relievers Alzolay and Yency Almonte (strained right shoulder) matches up well against right-handed hitters. But general manager Carter Hawkins said Tuesday that the Cubs didn’t limit their search to relievers with that profile.

“It’s safe to say that we’re looking for any good pitcher and any good reliever right now,” Hawkins said. “So, we will continue to do that. His profile happened to be one that can get right-handers out and fits well with some of the injuries that we’ve had. But we certainly won’t be picky as we’re looking for upgrades, and we’ll continue to make sure we’re canvassing every opportunity for that.”

As the Cubs’ fortune has played out all season, as soon as they got relatively positive news about Alzolay’s injury, they scratched shortstop Nico Hoerner from the lineup with a tight left hamstring.

Counsell said Hoerner “tweaked it a little bit” in batting practice. He wanted to warm up for the game and see how he felt. The Cubs decided not to risk playing him Tuesday and will re-evaluate him Wednesday.

The Cubs have put 14 different players on the IL so far this season. That number doesn’t include players who are dealing with ailments that haven’t been severe enough to land them on the IL. Third baseman Christopher Morel, for example, has had a myriad of bumps and bruises – finger, hip, toe – that he’s played through.

Injuries, and particularly a rise in pitchers’ injuries, have been a concern MLB-wide this year.

“I had an hour-long call this morning with our pitching guys,” Hawkins said, “talking through different ideas we have, ways to better prepare players for the workloads that happen up here in the big-leagues. Candidly, I was having the same meetings 15 years ago in Cleveland, and I expect to have them 15 years from now, hopefully here. I don’t think it’s ever something that we’ll ever stop doing.”

The Cubs needed their bullpen depth on Tuesday, asking relievers to cover four innings, after starter Jameson Taillon allowed seven runs – only two of which were earned because of his own fielding error – in four innings.

Side-armer José Cuas showed the work he’s done on his slider in two scoreless innings, limiting the Braves to one hit.

Miller finished the game, facing just one over minimum, with the help of a leaping catch halfway up the wall by center fielder Pete Crow-Armstrong in the eighth inning.

The Cubs were shut out by the Braves for the second game in a row.

Related Posts

Could the Toronto Maple Leafs Have a Short Leash on Brendan Shanahan?

Toronto Maple Leafs President Brendan Shanahan will be back for his 10th season with the organization when the team takes the ice for the 2024-25 season. The announcement came as…

Bruins’ Jake DeBrusk Linked to Western Club

This Western Conference team is expected to target Jake DeBrusk. Boston Bruins forward Jake DeBrusk is a player to watch incredibly closely over the next month and some change. The…

Cubs Bats Go Ice Cold, Braves Take Thursday’s Game 3-0 and Capture Series

After a win in the first game of the series on Tuesday and a poor loss on Wednesday, the Chicago Cubs needed a win on Thursday in order to secure their first…

Colts QB Anthony Richardson Says He’s Going To Keep Playing the Same

Anthony Richardson Takes Firm Stance on Whether Injuries Will Affect How He Plays Colts’ second-year QB Anthony Richardson says he won’t change style of play despite injury…

Sаbreѕ Cаn Addreѕѕ аn Orɡаnizаtionаl Need With 11th Piсk

We’re just over a month away from Round 1 of the 2024 NHL Entry Draft (June 28), and the Buffalo Sabres will select in the top-15 for…

Comments from breakout Cubs ace should scare opposing hitters

Shota Imanaga wants you all to know that this isn’t even his final form yet. The Chicago Cubs rookie star took part in a Thursday interview on…