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Cubs Place Adbert Alzolay On Injured List With Forearm Strain

Cubs Place Adbert Alzolay On Injured List With Forearm Strain

The Cubs announced today that right-hander Adbert Alzolay has been placed on the 15-day injured list with a right forearm strain. Fellow righty José Cuas was recalled from Triple-A Iowa in a corresponding move.

It’s not yet clear how much time Alzolay is expected to miss, though there seems to be some level of worry. Meghan Montemurro of the Chicago Tribune relays word from manager Craig Counsell on X, with the skipper saying the righty became sore during yesterday’s game in Pittsburgh and is getting imaging today. Per Counsell’s framing, since Alzolay is getting testing and has been immediately placed on the IL before the team even has the results, it indicates a level of concern.

The full results of the testing will provide more details on the severity and the timing, but there’s always some uneasiness when a pitcher’s throwing arm is involved. This also isn’t Alzolay’s first IL stint of this nature, as he missed about two weeks in September last year, also due to a right forearm strain.

He’s also experienced a drop off in results. He broke out as the Cubs’ closer last year, something MLBTR covered in August. He finished the year with a 2.67 earned run average in 64 innings. He struck out 26.5% of batters faced while giving out walks just 5.1% of the time and getting grounders on 42.2% of balls in play. He racked up 22 saves in the process.

Here in 2024, he has a 4.67 ERA through 18 appearances. His walk rate is up to 8% and his strikeout rate is way down to 17.3%. The velocity is down a bit on all five of his pitches, per Statcast. He was bumped out of the closer’s role a few weeks back, with Counsell saying that “we’ve got to get Adbert some confidence.”

Time will tell whether this is just a blip or a significant setback, but it should be a challenge for the Cubs either way. Their injured list already featured six pitchers before today, with Caleb Kilian, Jordan Wicks, Yency Almonte, Julian Merryweather, Daniel Palencia and Drew Smyly now joined by Alzolay. The club’s relief core has a combined ERA of 4.58 for the year, which places them 24th in the league. As the injuries continue piling up, it will be harder for the club to improve upon that mark.

For now, Héctor Neris has taken over the closer’s role, with six saves already. He has an even ERA of 3.00 on the year despite walking more batters than he has struck out. He has an 18.6% strikeout rate and 20% walk rate. A 52.4% ground ball rate has helped him strand…

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