How Adbert Alzolay is using his IL stint as a learning experience
In many ways, the last 24 hours have been another key part for Adbert Alzolay in his development as a big leaguer.
When he felt a sharp pain in his left hamstring Friday night at LoanDepot Park in Miami, his mind raced to worst-case scenario.
“Last night, I was just thinking of nothing good,” Alzolay said.
But, luckily for Alzolay and the Cubs, the injury wasn’t as serious as Alzolay feared. He was diagnosed with a mild left hamstring strain and was placed on the 10-day IL on Saturday. Alzolay says he expects to pitch again this year.
The mental aspect is something he’s going to be learning through and growing through while he rehabs and hopes to return.
“Today was a new day, so I was feeling a little better,” Alzolay said. “It’s just keep doing that. Keep having my mind in the right spot so we don’t get caught in that process when we’re doing rehabbing and you feel that you can’t help the team on the field.”
While many thought Alzolay suffered the hamstring injury in the top of the 2nd inning game when he hit a double and advanced to third, Alzolay and David Ross said that wasn’t the case.
“I think, contrary to some reports, he hurt it when he was pitching in that inning,” Ross said.” It happened early in that inning. I talked to him he didn’t feel it till he got into that inning and started pitching.”
Alzolay started the bottom of the 2nd inning and faced six hitters. He felt the pain early in the frame and tried to shake it off and keep pitching, thinking the pain would subdue.
“But to reach my pitches, I just couldn’t lock down my knee going forward,” Alzolay said.
As he kept going, he realized it wasn’t going away. Against Miguel Rojas, he succumbed to the pain and motioned for the dugout.
“I was like, yeah it’s not right to keep going thinking it could get a little bit worse, so I prefer to stop right now,” Alzolay said.
His teammates have raved on his persona. Robinson Chirinos, who caught Alzolay on Friday, mentioned how he could “see the pain through [Alzolay’s] eyes and how he [felt] when he came out from the game.”
Now, Alzolay’s full attention is on rehabbing and continuing to be a positive voice inside the Cubs clubhouse.
“It’s just finding ways to keep my mind clear of all those bad things and then put everything in work,” Alzolay said. “[That’s] something I know how to do to come back and be on the field soon.”