The Chicago Cubs have finally reported to Spring training and anticipation for the upcoming season has been building quickly since last Thursday’s Collective Bargaining Agreement.
Unfortunately, the team received a couple of injury updates regarding starting pitcher Adbert Alzolay and outfielder Ian Happ. It is expected that Happ will be available for opening day. Alzolay, however, is expected to miss some games.
Jesse Rogers had the report out of Arizona:
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
The good news from these updates is that Ian Happ is expected to be ready for opening day on April 7th. Happ came alive in the second half last year. A consistent year for Happ would make for a more than welcomed sight for Cubs fans this season. On the other hand, It is unclear how long Alzolay will remain in the IL. Gordon Wittenmyer with Sun-Times quoted Jed Hoyer saying Alzolay’s IL stint is “Not a short stint.”
Now the Cubs are faced with Alzolay missing time and relief pitcher Codi Heuer expected to miss the upcoming season. The Cubs will now look to bolster their pitching staff in the free agency market. Taylor McGregor noted Jed Hoyer’s comments on Monday:
“Our biggest focus is on pitching and pitching depth.” -Hoyer #Cubs
— Taylor McGregor (@Taylor_McGregor) March 14, 2022
The Cubs have already reunited with relief pitcher Jesse Chavez. Chavez, a 38-year old reliever had an impressive season with the Atlanta Braves in 2021. Chavez had a short but effective stint with the Cubs in 2018, in which he touted a 1.15 ERA in 39 innings. He will be an important piece in the Cubs’ young bullpen. Look for the Cubs to add more pieces to the pitching staff by opening day. The Cubs open up spring training on Thursday with a split-squad matchup against the Chicago White Sox.
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