(CBS) The Cubs are set to lose two of their starting rotation members and have set forth a plan to address those needs on the trade market and in free agency.
That’s because they don’t have any starting pitchers in their own farm system who are big league-ready. What they do have is plenty of confidence in the pitchers in their minor league system as they project beyond 2018. Among them, one the Cubs are enthusiastic about is 22-year-old right-hander Adbert Alzolay, who went 7-4 with a 2.99 ERA, 1.19 WHIP and 108 strikeouts in 114 1/3 innings in 2017, finishing his season at Double-A.
That caught the attention of Cubs senior vice president of player development and amateur scouting Jason McLeod.
“The guy that really took a huge step forward this year in the starting rotation was Adbert Alzolay,” McLeod said on Inside the Clubhouse on 670 The Score on Saturday. “He just finished up his Arizona Fall League season, and he’s the classic power guy that’s going to be a starting pitcher throwing in the mid-90s with the ability to miss bats with multiple pitches. So he’s the one that took the biggest step forward this year.”
The Cubs have made acquiring young pitching a priority in the draft, including using their first seven picks on pitchers this past June. That included selecting State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota left-hander Brendon Little and LSU right-hander Alex Lange in the first round.
“Excited for the pipeline,” McLeod said. “We’re ready for more of those guys to step up, like Alzolay did this year.”
Listen to McLeod’s full interview below.