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Adbert Alzolay (SP, CHC) - Week 14 Waiver Wire Pickups

BALLER MOVE: Add in 12+ Team Leagues

OWNED IN: 30% of All Leagues

ANALYSIS: The top pitching prospect in the Cubs organization entering 2019 - after missing most of 2018 with a lat strain - right-hander Adbert Alzolay was called up to the big club on June 20th to bolster a Cubs rotation that had lost Kyle Hendricks to a shoulder injury. With Cole Hamels now joining Hendricks on the IL with an oblique injury, Alzolay's tenure in the rotation looks to be safe for the foreseeable future.

Featuring a mid-90's fastball, plus curveball, and changeup still in need of development; Alzolay punched out 49 batters in 36 innings in Triple-A, while carrying a 4.00 ERA. Not overly impressive but taking out his first two starts - in which he gave up ten runs in eight innings - Alzolay had a 1.93 ERA with a 37.7% K-rate in his last 28 innings before the Cubs brought him up.

Even though he's failed to reach the sixth inning in either of his starts with the Cubs - going four and 4.2 innings, respectively - Alzolay has had positive numbers on the surface, with a 2.08 ERA and 26.5% K-rate. But beware the numbers beneath the surface, as he also sports a .000 BABIP, 100% strand-rate, and a 5.44 xFIP. Putting the results aside, it does appear that Alzolay is making a concerted effort to develop his change-up - throwing it 29% of the time so far - which is something he'll have to do if he doesn't want to ultimately end up in the bullpen. The results have been good as well, with the change having a 40% K-rate and .152 xwOBA-against.

Alzolay lines up for a two-start week, first getting the Pirates on Monday and finishing the week facing the crosstown rival White Sox.  The Pirates pose the bigger threat to hit Alzolay's underlying stats with the hammer of regression, as their 116 wRC+ against right-handers was the fourth-highest in the majors for the month of June, and their 16.8% K-rate was the lowest. The White Sox should be an easier foe, with a 23% K-rate against right-handers since June 1st, along with only a .708 OPS.

Grab Alzolay now if you need two starts with a lot of strikeout upside, but be conscious of the ERA and Whip blowup that could tag along.

Check out RotoBaller's entire fantasy baseball waiver wire pickups and sleepers list, updated daily!