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The Cubs rotation will be getting a refresh, and we might see Adbert Alzolay in it

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Kyle Hendricks’ injury is forcing the Cubs to make changes.

Adbert Alzolay
Adbert Alzolay
Dylan Heuer

Kyle Hendricks went on the 10-day injured list after Friday’s game with shoulder issues. Word is that no one thinks this is too serious, and Kyle should be back not long after the 10-day period expires. (Sure, I know we’ve heard this before. In this case it seems like it’s probably the truth.)

According to this Tribune article, top pitching prospect Adbert Alzolay will be the likely replacement for Hendricks:

The Cubs haven’t finalized their rotation for the Mets series, but all signs indicate Kyle Hendricks’ replacement — most likely Adbert Alzolay — will be promoted from Iowa to start Thursday night’s series opener.

Both Alzolay and Hendricks, who was placed on the 10-day injured list Saturday, last pitched Friday. With Cole Hamels and Jon Lester scheduled to pitch the two games against the White Sox on Tuesday and Wednesday, Alzolay would be a natural fit as Yu Darvish would get an extra day of rest after throwing 109 pitches Saturday.

This jibes with what Joe Maddon said over the weekend, that they weren’t likely to move guys up and have them go on “normal” rest due to Monday’s off day. Instead, the off day will help everyone in the rotation get an extra day in between starts. It means that the rotation for the Mets series will likely be Alzolay, Darvish, Jose Quintana and Hamels.

Alzolay has missed a lot of the last two years with injuries. He had a lat injury which cost him pitching in MLB spring training this year, and he didn’t pitch in a game until May 12, a single start for Myrtle Beach. After moving back to Triple-A Iowa, he had one rough outing and since then has been lights-out. In his most recent six starts: 1.93 ERA, 0.821 WHIP, 3 (!) walks and 40 (!) strikeouts in 28 innings.

Here’s some video of Alzolay striking out Kyle Tucker of Round Rock on June 1.

The Cubs have had only one start this year from anyone other than their regular rotation starters. That was six shutout innings from Tyler Chatwood against the Diamondbacks, April 21 at Wrigley Field. The Cubs haven’t produced a player from their system who has made more than a handful of starts since Jeff Samardzija. (Hendricks doesn’t count since he was acquired by trade.)

It would be nice if Alzolay, a native of Venezuela, could break that string.