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Cubs’ Alzolay on big-league stint, demotion: ‘It hurts a little bit, but it still feels good’

Right-hander, 24, says Cubs have told him they have second-half plans for him — but that’s as specific it’s been.

Atlanta Braves v Chicago Cubs
Adbert Alzolay getting it done.
Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

CLEVELAND — Adbert Alzolay doesn’t know when he’s going to get his next crack with the Cubs. He could be in play for Cole Hamels’ scheduled start on July 16 against the Reds at Wrigley Field.

According to Alzolay, 24, the Cubs have told him they have second-half plans for him — but there has been nothing more specific.

“We’re just going to wait and see what happens,” he said Sunday at the All-Star Futures Game, where the Class AAA Iowa right-hander joined Class A Myrtle Beach catcher Miguel Amaya as the Cubs’ representatives.

Alzolay didn’t get into the game for the National League squad. That means his most recent experience on the mound was an ugly start for Iowa in which he failed to get through the fourth inning. And that game was his first since being demoted by the Cubs after a

July 1 debacle in an 18-5 loss to the Pirates. Alzolay allowed 10 hits and seven earned runs in 2‰ innings in that one.

After a highly encouraging first two big-league starts with the Cubs, the third one — and the demotion — stung.

“The whole point [is] you want to just stay there,” Alzolay said. “But I was like, ‘If they send me down, I won’t be mad or whatever.’ . . . I enjoy the game. It hurts a little bit, but it still feels good.”

Has his confidence wavered?

“Oh, no,” he said. “Like [the Cubs] said to me, sometimes it’s going to happen. You won’t be perfect all the time.”

In the short time he was in the big leagues, Alzolay reveled in the support he received from the Cubs’ veteran pitchers. He received gifts from them, too, including a bottle of champagne after his first victory.

Has he popped the cork yet?

“No,” he said. “I’m saving it for a special occasion.”