Ahead of a must-win series in Milwaukee against the Brewers as the regular season comes to an end, the Chicago Cubs have activated closer Adbert Alzolay from the injured list, the club announced Friday afternoon.
While the Cubs are now in need of a winning weekend and help from the Pittsburgh Pirates, Alzolay's return provides much-needed support to an ailing and exhausted relief staff.
In a corresponding move, the Cubs have optioned reliever Keegan Thompson to the Arizona Complex League, marking an end to his 2023 regular season with the big league team.
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In 57 games this year, Alzolay has recorded a 2.71 ERA with 22 saves and an outstanding 1.016 WHIP. The former starter has totaled 66 strikeouts in 63 innings while walking just 12 batters and yielding only five home runs.
Currently a half-game back from the Marlins in the standings and without ownership of the tiebreaker, the Cubs' simplest path to the playoffs is a sweep over the Brewers and a series victory from the Pirates over the Marlins.
The Cubs start their final series of the regular season in Milwaukee tonight, with Kyle Hendricks taking the mound at 7:10 p.m. local time.