A couple surprising late roster moves for the Cubs, presumably tied to the evolving COVID situation, which has not only left the Cubs short on players, but also having to cover more innings than expected thanks to the Kyle Hendricks scratch and now Alec Mills being down for the day. Well, also, a couple very short starting pitcher outings over the weekend didn’t help.
That is to say, I expect today’s roster moves are about the need for innings:
More Cubs roster moves:
-Jason Adam reinstated from COVID-19 related IL
-Shelby Miller selected from alt site
-Adbert Alzolay optioned to alt site
-Brad Wieck optioned to alt site https://t.co/Ys9W5vbVbw
— Maddie Lee (@maddie_m_lee) April 14, 2021
Alzolay is the headline here, as he is coming off a dominant five innings (and then a sixth inning that went sideways, but he didn’t look bad). We’ve wondered how the Cubs would manage his innings this year, given the expected bump up, and this kind of shuffling could be an answer. Since he’s necessarily down for a few days anyway, the Cubs opted to bring up a fresh arm.
That fresh arm is Shelby Miller, who we knew was going to have to be called up at some point soon-ish (lest he opt out), and he takes Tony Wolters’ vacated 40-man spot. Miller looked fantastic in Spring Training as a multi-inning guy, and it’s possible even that he could get a start in the coming days, depending on what happens with Hendricks’ COVID situation.
Meanwhile, Jason Adam is back after being put on the COVID IL a couple days ago, which means he must have tested negative multiple times after being a close contact (and/or any questionable symptoms abated). Brandon Workman and Dan Winkler are still out.
Alzolay figures to take his next “start” at the alternate site, and then could be back up with the big league team the next time through the rotation, depending on how things shake out.