Last night he was not able to leave the field without help, and today the Cubs got the bad news on Pedro Strop’s knee injury: he has a torn meniscus in his left knee, which will have him out for four to six weeks after surgery tomorrow (Wittenmyer, Gonzales). He will obviously head to the disabled list.
Justin Grimm has been called back up to take Strop’s spot on the roster.
The injury, which did not involve the ligaments in his knee, will not necessarily end Strop’s season. Even at the outer range of that return estimate, he could be back pitching – perhaps not yet competitively – by the third week of September. That would put him in line, without any setbacks, to be full go for the playoffs, which is obviously what matters most.
Hopefully surgery goes smoothly, and the recovery does as well.
In the interim, without Strop, the Cubs will not be able to employ their 7th-8th-9th dream trio of Strop, Hector Rondon (who will, himself, hopefully be back soon from triceps soreness), and Aroldis Chapman. It’s possible someone like Carl Edwards Jr. will just slide right into that 7th inning spot, but it’s more likely there will be a mix and match before the 8th inning. Heck, as Joe Maddon has shown, he’ll mix and match after then, too.
Thankfully, Justin Grimm has been very effectively lately, Edwards has been brilliant, and there’s still quite a bit of quality depth. If the rotation can continue going deep and if the rest of the pen simply holds serve, the Cubs should be able to weather this injury. Heck, perhaps it’ll even give them an opportunity to bring a couple other guys along further than they might have been otherwise.
Grimm returns to a 4.58 ERA, a 3.78 FIP, and a 3.89 xFIP, though his struggles earlier in the year have been well-documented. Since June 13, he’s given up runs in just two appearances, and hasn’t given up a run in 11 outings. His strikeout rate is 33.3% during that 11-appearance stretch, and his walk rate is 12.1%. If Grimm can be the guy he was when he was at his best in 2014 and 2015, the Cubs’ bullpen should still very much be a strength.