Some worrisome news out of Mesa Tuesday afternoon, as Joe Maddon announced that Pedro Strop is dealing with a mild strain in his right hamstring. By all accounts, the Cubs are not overly concerned about this, but it’s certainly not the type of news you like to hear less than three weeks from Opening Day. For reference, this is not the same hamstring Strop hurt last year running to first in Washington.
“According to this MRI, it was like barely noticeable, so we don’t think it’s going to be anything horribly long,” Maddon told reporters. “But we don’t know for sure. We’d like to think we’re going to be able to get him ready for the beginning of the season.”
Maddon: Pedro Strop dealing with mild right hamstring strain. Had MRI on Monday. Still able to play catch, but likely will be held off a mound for the next week. Not ruled out for Opening Day yet.
— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) March 12, 2019
Joe Maddon on Pedro Strop's hamstring issue: “According to this MRI, it was like barely noticeable, so we don’t think it’s going to be anything horribly long. But we don’t know for sure. We’d like to think we’re going to be able to get him ready for the beginning of the season."
— Patrick Mooney (@PJ_Mooney) March 12, 2019
Apologies for taking us back to the discussions of the lack of spending this offseason, but the Cubs went bargain hunting for bullpen solutions, and this is exactly one of the perils of such a strategy. Brandon Morrow appears to be a little ahead of schedule in his rehab, but when he’ll be ready for 2019 is still unsure and we have no idea what his exact usage will be once he is back.
While this injury to Strop doesn’t sound significant, it further reduces this bullpen’s margin for error. The Cubs were already going to rely heavily on guys like Strop, Steve Cishek, and Carl Edwards Jr. to handle the high-leverage duties out of the pen, and this only makes that burden heavier.