Joe Maddon Says Pedro Strop Is Coming Back(!) and Dillon Maples Is Heading to Iowa

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Joe Maddon Says Pedro Strop Is Coming Back(!) and Dillon Maples Is Heading to Iowa

Chicago Cubs

Earlier today, Cubs Manager Joe Maddon hopped on 670 The Score to talk Cubs baseball with Laurence Holmes, when he dropped a couple of news-bombs I’m extremely happy to report.

Namely, the return of fill-in closer Pedro Strop!

We had heard some rumblings that right-handed reliever, Strop, might be activated off the Injured List today, but now we obviously have some more confirmation that it’s really happening. And I’m freakin’ thrilled that he’ll be back. The Cubs bullpen can use all the help it can get, and the rumors on Craig Kimbrel are pretty quiet right now.

Strop’s last big league pitch came all the way back on May 6th, making this a near-one month absence from the big league squad, as he’s dealt with his third hamstring injury in the past year or so. He has since made three scoreless appearances in Triple-A Iowa (3.0 IP, 1H, 2Ks, 1BB) and is ready to re-join his team, presumably as the immediate “closer,” to the extent Joe Maddon uses one.

Of course, as Strop joins the active roster, someone needs to come off and that someone is Dillon Maples:

In the same interview, Maddon revealed that Dillon Maples would be the odd man out when Strop returns, which makes sense as he was basically the last man in and he’s also got Minor League options remaining. Kyle Ryan has options, as well, and certainly isn’t a must-keep, but he’s basically the only lefty in the pen (Mike Montgomery’s role is a bit different), and Joe Maddon seems to like him quite a bit.

But this isn’t an indictment of Maples. In fact, I’m quite positive we’ll see him again before the season is through – he’s far too talented not to. Anyone that watches him pitch can see the promise wound up in that arm. And if he can find a way to command his pitchers a little better (9 walks in 5.2 IP), he might just find his way into high-leverage inning share of a competitive Cubs bullpen.

But for now, the headline of the day is the return of Pedro Strop. His presence will immediately transform this bullpen (although it’s far from fixed), as guys like Brad Brach, Steve Cishek, and Brandon Kintzler can all return to more comfortable roles.

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Author: Michael Cerami

Michael Cerami covers the Chicago Cubs, Bears, and Bulls at Bleacher Nation. You can find him on Twitter @Michael_Cerami