Hector Rondon is trying to get past a triceps issue, and now Pedro Strop had to leave tonight’s game with an apparent leg injury. The incredibly deep and impressive Cubs bullpen is suddenly on the edge of a knife.
Hopefully Rondon will be all right in a couple days, and fingers are crossed that Strop’s injury is not serious. In the 8th inning tonight, Strop ran and slid to his right to try and field a dribbler. He came up seemingly all right, took a few steps back toward the mound, stopped, hunched over, and then was ultimately helped off the field without putting any weight on his left leg.
It was hard to tell if it was a knee or an ankle injury, but the visual of him being helped off was not good. We’ll probably find out more after the game, and then perhaps even more tomorrow.
Tentatively, though, I’d expect him to miss some time. Hopefully not a ton of time. Strop was sporting a 2.68 ERA, a 2.86 FIP, and a 2.58 xFIP for the Cubs this year, so he’s obviously been a very important part of the bullpen.
UPDATE: The injury was to his knee:
Maddon said Strop hurt his knee, MRI tomorrow.
— Sahadev Sharma (@sahadevsharma) August 11, 2016
I won’t play the “it didn’t look bad” game, because we know not all knee injuries look bad. I will say that it didn’t look like there was an awkward bend in Strop’s knee – just a hard, lateral impact with the ground. It wasn’t the kind of impact you’d typically associate with a serious knee injury, but obviously it was bad enough that it warrants an MRI. A serious injury at this point would not be a surprise, even if it’s also perfectly plausible that he’ll be fine.
Hopefully the MRI reveals only some kind of minor injury (though even that will keep Strop out for a while), which the Cubs can weather. Strop gets to rest his arm a bit for the stretch, and perhaps he comes back even more refreshed in September and October, when the Cubs will need him most. How’s that for an optimistic take?
We’ll see what the MRI says.