April 17: Chicago announced they’re reinstating Workman and Winkler from the IL in advance of this afternoon’s game against the Braves. Steele has been optioned to the team’s alternate training site in South Bend, while Strop has been reassigned to the alternate site. Under the league’s 2021 health and safety protocols, Strop needs not be exposed to waivers to be removed from the 40-man roster as a COVID-19 replacement.
April 12: The Cubs have placed three members of their bullpen – right-handers Jason Adam, Brandon Workman and Dan Winkler – on the COVID-19 injured list, Robert Murray of FanSided was among those to report. The move came “out of abundance of caution” after bullpen coach Chris Young tested positive for COVID-19. To take the pitchers’ places, the Cubs recalled fellow hurlers Brad Wieck and Justin Steele, and they selected Pedro Strop’s contract, per Jesse Rogers of ESPN.com.
It’s unclear how much time Adam, Workman and Winkler will miss, but all three are quarantining away from the club, Bob Nightengale of USA Today tweets. The Cubs have received a combined 11 1/3 innings from Adam, Workman and Winkler this season. Adam has been the most successful of the three, having given up one earned run and struck out seven hitters in 3 2/3 innings. Workman has surrendered three runs (two earned) over 3 2/3 frames, but he has totaled five strikeouts. Winkler has yielded one ER on two hits and struck out five across four innings, though he has succeeded despite walking a batter per nine.
The Cubs signed Strop to a minor league contract in the offseason, and the righty is now in line for his second MLB stint with the organization. Now 35 years old, Strop was highly effective for most of his prior Cubs tenure, which ran from 2013-19. He surpassed the 60-frame mark in three of those seasons and combined for 373 innings of 2.90 ERA ball. Strop temporarily left the Cubs to join the division-rival Reds in free agency entering the 2020 campaign, but he threw a mere 2 1/3 innings before Cincinnati designated him for assignment.