Before Aroldis Chapman shut down Albert Pujols and the Los Angeles Angels, right-handed reliever Pedro Strop was helped to the clubhouse following an injury to his left knee. It was reported soon after that he was expected to have an MRI done Thursday morning.
Let’s fast forward to the first week of the 2016 regular season. Last year’s playoff hero, Kyle Schwarber, was looking to reel in a routine flyball out in left field when he collided with center fielder Dexter Fowler.
Like Pedro Strop, he underwent an MRI and the news resulted in him being sidelined for the entire year. Thankfully, Pedro still has a shot at returning to the big league roster when it’s time for the Cubs to make their second postseason run in as many years.
According to CSN Chicago’s Patrick Mooney, Strop’s MRI revealed a torn meniscus in his left knee. Surgery has been scheduled for tomorrow.
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This is no doubt, a huge blow to Joe Maddon‘s bullpen that has pitched exceptionally well over their nine-game winning streak. But just because Pedro is going to be sitting on the shelf anywhere between 4-to-6 weeks, doesn’t mean they are down and out.
Yes, injuries have hit this club hard as Schwarber, Fowler, Jorge Soler, and a few others have found themselves on the disabled list this season. This just gives someone an opportunity to step up and help fill the gap.
For instance, Carl Edwards Jr. who entered the game in relief for southpaw Travis Wood and retired Mike Trout and Albert Pujols before retiring the side. C.J. is shining brightly in 2016, appearing in 18 games for the Chicago Cubs and posting an impressive 26/5 K/BB ratio with a 1.42 ERA through 19 innings of work.
So far he has held a clean sheet in his previous six outings which date back to July 22nd when the Cubs were in Milwaukee on a road trip. Edwards has allowed only three earned runs on six hits (one home run) this season.
For Grimm, it’s not the way he wanted to return to the Chicago Cubs. He was optioned to Triple-A Iowa just a few days ago in order to make room for Jason Hammel who returned to the club following a personal matter within his family.
The 27-year-old righty carries a 1-0 record, 4.58 ERA and 40/16 K/BB ratio into tonight’s series opener against the second-place Cardinals. Now let’s hope this bullpen can remain strong without one of their key contributors.