Colin Rea Optioned to South Bend to Open Up Spot for Adbert Alzolay

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Colin Rea Optioned to South Bend to Open Up Spot for Adbert Alzolay

Chicago Cubs

There’s your roster move to open up space for tonight’s Chicago Cubs starter, Adbert Alzolay.

Today the Cubs sent righty Colin Rea to South Bend, taking their bullpen back down to nine arms. Here’s hoping Alzolay has some innings in him tonight.

Rea, 30, has looked really good in his single-inning outings, but has struggled when asked to go multiple innings (and his overall season numbers have suffered for it). I tend to think that he’s shown enough to be kept in the org heading into next year – he’s got some big league pitches, he has options, he was the PCL Pitcher of the Year last year – but it’s unlikely he re-emerges this year in a significant set-up-type role. He might come back up when his 10 days are up if there’s a need, but the Cubs are soon going to get into crunch time figuring out precisely which guys they want in which roles for the final weeks of the season and the postseason. I look forward to seeing him in the bullpen competition next year.

It’s a little surprising that the Cubs elected to send out an arm before tonight’s game instead of a superfluous infielder like Ildemaro Vargas or even optioning the now-little-used Nico Hoerner. Maybe they’re anticipating more roster moves soon. See the next paragraph.

As for Alzolay, he gets a shot not only to make tonight’s start against the Reds, but possibly stick in the rotation thereafter. Even if Jose Quintana is ready to return this weekend, I don’t know that you can count on him to be a 5+ inning starter right now, and maybe not for the rest of the way. That is to say, even if Quintana (and later Tyler Chatwood) is ready to be back soon, Alzolay can carve himself out a spot on this roster for the rest of the season if he looks the part tonight. He’s gotta bounce back from his last time out, where he seemed to get a little rattled by rough defense behind him, and then totally lost his control.

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.