As recently as earlier today, the Chicago Cubs near-future rotation plans were a bit in flux. This last time through the order, for example, they worked with a six-man rotation, with the standard front four – Yu Darvish, Jon Lester, Jose Quintana, and Cole Hamels – and then part-time reliever Tyler Chatwood and prospect Adbert Alzolay filling in the back of the six, as Kyle Hendricks recovers from a right shoulder impingement. But we weren’t quite sure if that was going to be the plan going forward, especially given the struggles of Tyler Chatwood yesterday.
But now, we may have our answer:
Alzolay, Darvish 1st two games in Pittsburgh
— Mark Gonzales (@MDGonzales) June 28, 2019
According to Mark Gonzales, the Chicago Cubs will, indeed, give top (arguably) their pitching prospect Adbert Alzolay another start this Monday in Pittsburgh. He’ll go with an extra day of rest thanks to Tyler Chatwood’s start yesterday. Of course, that answers exactly half of our questions. While it’s nice to know whether or not Alzolay was going to get another start (it wasn’t a guarantee, although it was our preference), we still didn’t know if the Cubs would stick with a six-man rotation even with Alzolay in the group.
Now we do:
Cubs rotation for PIT: Alzolay (M), Darvish (T), Hamels (W), Quintana (Th)
— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) June 28, 2019
The Cubs will skip Tyler Chatwood next time through the order, resuming a five-man rotation with Adbert Alzolay as the fifth man. Starting with the beginning of the Braves series that the Cubs just wrapped up, here’s how their rotation did and will shake out:
Monday (Game 1 vs. ATL) – Jon Lester
Tuesday (Game 2 vs. ATL) – Adbert Alzolay
Wednesday (Game 3 vs. ATL) – Yu Darvish
Thursday (Game 4 vs. ATL) – Tyler Chatwood
Friday (Game 1 vs. CIN) – Cole Hamels
Saturday (Game 2 vs. CIN) – Jose Quintana
Sunday (Game 3 vs. CIN) – Jon Lester
Monday (Game 1 vs. PIT) – Adbert Alzolay
Tuesday (Game 2 vs. PIT) – Yu Darvish
Wednesday (Game 3 vs. PIT) – Cole Hamels
Thursday (Game 4 vs. PIT) – Jose Quintana
If the Cubs stick to the schedule and Kyle Hendricks does not return before the All-Star Break, the final two games of the first half will go to (presumably) Jon Lester and Adbert Alzolay.
This feels worth noting, as well:
Chatwood back in the pen, not avail until Pittsburgh. Alzolay, Lester, Darvish and Hamels will pitch against the Pirates.
— Jesse Rogers (@ESPNChiCubs) June 28, 2019
In any case, this is a huge congrats to Alzolay, who’s certainly earned the honor of another start (or two), and not only because of the poor performance of Tyler Chatwood. I’m still not sure what the Cubs will do when Kyle Hendricks returns, but for now, Alzolay is in the picture.