Cubs President of Baseball Operations Jed Hoyer met with reporters Monday morning in Mesa and delivered this bit of bad news:
Adbert Alzolay (shoulder) will start the season on the IL for the Cubs. Won’t be a minimum stay (per Hoyer) Ian Happ recovering from elbow surgery in Feb. but should be ok.— Jesse Rogers (@JesseRogersESPN) March 14, 2022
Adbert Alzolay was expected to be in the mix for the Cubs starting rotation this year after some very good outings late in the 2021 season. To have Hoyer say Alzolay’s IL stint will not be “a minimum stay” is bad news for the 27-year-old righthander and for the Cubs, who were counting on him to be at least in the mix for the rotation.
This gives Justin Steele, who also made some good starts toward the end of 2021, a good chance to be the Cubs’ fifth starter. Or, perhaps they’ll look around at available free agents. I suppose it’s possible they’ll even take a look at Caleb Kilian, who dominated the Arizona Fall League after one bad start there.
Here’s how this affects the Cubs’ 40-man roster. Once the team officially announces the Andrelton Simmons signing, the 40-man will be full. On the other hand, as soon as MLB makes it possible to do so, Codi Heuer will be placed on the 60-day IL, as he’s going to miss the entire 2022 season due to Tommy John surgery. If Alzolay isn’t going to be ready until mid-May, might as well put him on the 60-day as well. Lastly, David Bote is expected to miss at least the first couple of months of the season, so he’ll probably also have a 60-day placement.
Thus there should be room to add some players. This is a tough break for Alzolay, but might give some other pitchers a chance.
As always, we await developments.