Chicago Cubs: Adbert Alzolay has chance to make presence felt

PITTSBURGH, PA - JULY 01: Adbert Alzolay #73 of the Chicago Cubs in action against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on July 1, 2019 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - JULY 01: Adbert Alzolay #73 of the Chicago Cubs in action against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on July 1, 2019 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /
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The Chicago Cubs have been generally silent this offseason, but they could have an upgrade waiting in the wings.

At this point, the Chicago Cubs seem determined to sit out the 2019-20 offseason. Aside from signing Ryan Tepera and Dan Winkler, the Cubs have done virtually nothing to improve their roster. Any potential upgrades are likely to come from within.

This lack of expenditure will result in opportunities for the Cubs youngsters. One youngster who could benefit from this inaction is pitcher Adbert Alzolay, who caught the eye of Kyle Hendricks during his brief time in the majors last season.

Alzolay had a roller coaster stint with the Cubs in 2019. In his 12.1 innings, he posted a 7.30 ERA and a 1.784 WHiP, striking out 13 batters, but issuing nine walks and allowing four homers. However, most of that damage came in a disastrous outing against the Pirates, where he allowed seven runs on ten hits and a walk over 2.2 innings.

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He had a better showing in AAA. Despite the increased offense in the Pacific Coast League, Alzolay posted a respectable 4.41 ERA and a 1.286 WHiP. Over his 65.1 innings, he struck out 91 batters while issuing 31 walks.

Alzolay’s future is still somewhat in doubt. His fastball is electric, sitting in the mid 90s and can reach 98 MPH. He also has an excellent curve, an offering in the low 80s that has impressive depth. The key will be his change; at this point, it has excellent life, but not enough separation from the fastball nor enough deceptiveness to be an effective third pitch.

Those growing pains at the major league level may have been the wakeup call he needed. He changed his diet, slimming down and improving his strength. That renewed focus and dedication could make a major difference, allowing Alzolay to not only reach his potential, but to become an important part of the Cubs rotation.

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The Chicago Cubs improvements will come from within. Adbert Alzolay has the perfect chance to seize an opportunity, and become a fixture for years to come.