The Chicago Cubs are struggling a bit with injuries. The latest one is a rather big hit, as the team just had to put Kyle Hendricks on the 10-day IL. While Rowan Wick was the player that got the call to replace him on the roster, for now, there are reports that the front office is expecting to call up one of its top prospects.

Adbert Alzolay has been getting mentioned as the next pitcher who is expected to be called up, and then to stay up for good, for a few weeks now. That would not only buck the trend of the Cubs calling up and then sending down minor leaguers in order to try and keep their pitching staff intact.

Alzolay on the way?

One of the most interesting aspects of the new rumors from the Chicago Cubs is that if Alzolay is called up, he wouldn't be called up to work out of the pen. Team president Theo Epstein talked a bit about his plans with Hendricks down.

The club plans to use a number of spot starters, including Tyler Chatwood and Mike Montgomery. It also appears that Alzolay has been included in the talks when the front office looks at how to fill the rotation should Hendricks be out for a long period of time.

“Alzolay is on a real roll at Triple-A, and we’d been planning even before this to possibly give him a couple of spot starts at some point over the next month or so,” Epstein told the media shortly after announcing Hendricks was headed to the IL.

“Just to get his feet wet and also give our veteran rotation guys a little bit of a breather during a stretch in the schedule where we don’t have a lot of off days.”

The fact that the team was already taking a look at Adbert Alzolay as a spot starter was news to most. The Chicago Cubs haven't been talking a whole bunch about the young pitcher since he came back from a Spring Training injury.

After a very rough start to the season, Alzolay has been lights out. He's got five straight starts where he's allowed two runs or less. That's a 1.93 ERA and 40 strikeouts in 28 innings. In other words, straight dominance of AAA batters.

Knowing that it's not hard to understand why the Chicago Cubs are looking at the highly touted pitcher as a member of their pitching staff sooner rather than later.

The bigger issue at play

While the prospect of Adbert Alzolay being a contributor to the 2019 Cubs is certainly exciting, the circumstances are not. Hendricks' placement on the 10-day IL might be a bit misleading. Talking about numerous spot starters would seem to indicate the Chicago Cubs think they are going to be without a pitcher who has, inarguably, been their best this season for an extended period of time.

How the team is going to cope with that is an open question. Adbert Alzolay could be a nice fill in but the franchise is going to have a hard time getting to the playoffs without Kyle Hendricks.