If today wasn’t enough of a wallop to the nethers for a variety of reasons, you can add a couple Cubs now departing to the list.
Ben Zobrist, who was a late scratch last night with a personal matter, will take a leave of absence and be placed on the restricted list. And it turns out Pedro Strop, who was inexplicably awful on Monday, may very well have been hurt (which would explain the loss of command and velocity).
Pedro Strop on 10-day IL with left hamstring strain. Mike Montgomery activated from IL.
— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) May 8, 2019
The injured hamstring is not the one Strop hurt in the Spring, but IS the one he hurt late last year. There aren’t details out yet on the severity of the injury, but if it’s a fresh strain, even the most mild ones – and even for a Wolverine like Strop – are going to keep you down for a while. I wouldn’t expect to see Strop back for several weeks at the earliest. Which is great.
In the meantime, Montgomery has a clear path to returning without the Cubs having to risk losing Allen Webster or optioning the very effective Kyle Ryan. So … that’s decent? At least this bullpen is not necessarily OVERLY reliant on Strop right now to have success. The good arms are there. They just need one of them to now be able to weather the 9th.
Russell returns, as discussed earlier, and he’ll start at second base tonight. Daniel Descalso remains somewhat limited by his ankle injury, apparently, and if you want to play match-ups to have Kris Bryant in the outfield (and thus David Bote at third), you’re left with Russell at second.
As for Zobrist, I just hope everything is OK for him and his family and/or whatever is causing his absence. It feels like one of those “bigger than baseball” situations. While on the restricted list, which requires Commissioner approval, Zobrist does not count against the 40-man roster.