Alzolay anxious for Steele to join Cubs rotation

Left-hander Justin Steele joining the Cubs rotation would be good news for Adbert Alzolay. Those two began in the Cubs farm system at the same time and became close friends.

"We were pitching in the same rotation for four years in a row," Alzolay said. "So for me, it's going to be special having one of my best friends next to me in the rotation. Hopefully sooner than later."

Steele is expected to be promoted from Iowa soon and start one of the games against Milwaukee this week. Since recovering from a hamstring injury, Steele has been in Iowa trying to stretch himself out for a tryout as a major league starter.

Alzolay had an interesting perspective on the team moving on without World Series heroes Kris Bryant, Javy Baez and Anthony Rizzo. Alzolay thinks he owes it to those guys to keep up what they started.

"I feel we have to keep that tradition that we have with those guys," he said. "Keep pushing each other, keep going after it. We still have Kyle Hendricks, Willson Contreras here too. They still have that winning mentality.

"For me, that's what I want to pass around to the new guys too. They feel proud to be wearing this jersey and hopefully we can build a good core to win another championship."

Alzolay is usually pretty stone-faced on the mound, but he did get excited after striking out Yoan Moncada to end the sixth inning.

"Sometimes (emotion) gets the best of me, but sometimes it's to wake up the guys too," he said. "To give that energy like, 'Yeah, they can have a great pitcher too, but at some point we can turn the game around.' We did it last game. So it was more to show my team we care for these moments."

•Twitter: @McGrawDHSports

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