Next for Alzolay, Why No Strop, Willy's Poor Willy, and Other Bullets

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Next for Alzolay, Why No Strop, Willy’s Poor Willy, and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

I know that many of you here at the Cubs side of things are not Bears fans or Bulls fans, and to you I just want to say that I genuinely appreciate you tolerating our mentions of that coverage. It’s something we’re excited to do, but I also know that some of you have been here for a very long time solely to follow our Cubs/baseball coverage. I really appreciate that support.

To that end, here’s something hopefully everyone can enjoy – it was technically tied to our new Bulls coverage, but, hey, it’s me and Michael embarrassing ourselves. And yes, Michael’s was better:

  • After that performance from Adbert Alzolay, and knowing that the Cubs will almost certainly need more fill-in starts in the coming weeks (either solely because Kyle Hendricks is out, or because the Cubs want to give the rest of the rotation an extra day of rest here or there), it’s almost impossible to imagine him heading back to AAA any time soon. There is no commitment on what his next outing will look like, but I would bet he either piggybacks with Tyler Chatwood once again, or he simply takes a start. The next open date would be this coming Tuesday against the Braves at Wrigley Field. That’s the middle of a four-game set, but the Braves don’t really have a strong split against lefties or righties, so there isn’t an obvious reason – for example – to push to start both Chatwood and Alzolay in that series, or to push to make sure you get more lefties going.
  • Against the backdrop of that game-winning homer he gave up to Eloy Jimenez (on a velocity-down, horribly-located fastball), if you were wondering why it wasn’t Pedro Strop getting ready for the save last night, there is no reported injury issue – just Joe Maddon wanting to give him an extra day (Rogers). That said, Strop has pitched just once in the last five days, so it would be fair to query why an extra day would be necessary if there wasn’t some lingering injury-related consideration. As we’ve discussed, Strop’s velocity has been down most of this year, first following his recovery from the Spring Training hamstring injury, and then following the other hamstring injury. Even if Strop is “healthy,” perhaps he’s in a mode where he needs extra rest to ensure he stays healthy/to build back up some strength.
  • Willson Contreras was hitting dongs the night before, but last night, it was Tyler Chatwood’s turn:

  • In all seriousness, I’m very glad Contreras was OK, because an injury to the testicles can cost a player serious time (to say nothing of the extreme pain and recovery process (speaking from experience … )). When the teammates start laughing at you, that’s a good sign that everyone was pretty sure he was gonna be OK.
  • How cool is it, by the way, that a young Venezuelan pitcher got to make his big league debut throwing to a star Venezuelan catcher?
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

  • I still think this process ends with the Rays either getting a new, domed stadium in a better location to stay in the Tampa Bay area long-term, or they simply move to a new city completely.
  • About the two-city plan, though, Michael has jokes:

  • As I’ve said all year long, I don’t really know what the Cubs have in Robel Garcia, but his story is just awesome, as is how the Cubs stayed on him:

  • This promo video is exceptional, and someone in the Cubs’ video department deserves a raise:

  • Big day for the Bulls, who not only landed a point guard with their first rounder, but actually drafted a second rounder this year:

Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.