Cubs reliever Pedro Strop has been diagnosed with a torn meniscus, the club announced (via Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune, Twitter links). He’ll undergo surgery tomorrow, with the expectation that he could be back within four to six weeks.
Under the circumstances, that’s largely a positive outcome for the Cubs, who likely would have lost Strop for the year had he suffered a more significant knee injury. As things stand, he’ll seemingly be back in time for the end of the regular season. Righty Justin Grimm will be recalled to take Strop’s place on the roster for the time being.
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Strop, 31, has been nothing short of outstanding since coming over along with Jake Arrieta in the 2013 deal that delivered Scott Feldman to Baltimore. Over 207 2/3 frames in Chicago, Strop owns a 2.69 ERA with 10.8 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9. It has been more of the same this year, as he not only carries a career-best K-BB% (24.9%) but also has drawn grounders on nearly six of ten balls in play.
Losing that kind of productivity from the back of the pen undoubtedly hurts, especially with Hector Rondon dealing with his own medical issues (albeit not as serious). Still, the Cubs just bolstered their relief corps with Aroldis Chapman and are sitting on a 12-game lead in the NL Central. Since Strop will likely be able to keep his arm in shape during his absence, the hope will be that he’ll hit the ground running and be at full strength before the final build-up to the post-season.