For reasons unknown, Chicago Cubs fans are more concerned with the way Pedro Strop wears his hat than how he pitches. How has he performed so far this season?
Pedro Strop was acquired from the Baltimore Orioles along with Jake Arrieta in 2013 for Scott Feldman and Steve Clevenger. Since then, he’s been one of the most consistent relievers in the Chicago Cubs’ pen. How has his 2017 season been up to this point?
In his time on the North Side, the right-hander has been impressive. He owns a 2.78 ERA with 270 strikeouts in 223 1/3 innings. Furthermore, he boasts a 2.92 FIP and 31.3 strikeout percentage. Strop is a safe bet to put up a zero in an inning at least eight out of 10 times. However, sometimes he does struggle with control, and that’s when teams can tend to get to him. This season, his 14.6 percent walk rate ranks as his highest mark in his Cubs career.
Despite his sometimes erratic control, 2017 may be his best performance to-date in a Cubs uniform. Now, granted, it’s a small sample size, but these numbers really stand out. Opponents have hit line drives just 6.9 percent of the time, to go along with a 65.5 percent ground ball rate.
Bad luck for the right-hander?
He’s run into a fair bit of bad luck this year, too. Of the 27.6 percent of fly balls he allows, a full-quarter of those have left the yard. Strop is well above his career soft contact average of 19.1 percent, coming in at 26.1percent soft contact. The right-hander is allowing just 20 percenthard contact on balls in play. Like the rest of the Cubs, it seems like he’s been very unlucky so far. That’s how it goes in a slump sometimes.
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Based on those numbers alone, Strop should have quite a dominant stretch coming up sometime here in the future, one would think. Comparing those numbers with some past years, now:
- In 2016, Strop gave up a 16 percent line drive rate, with a 25.5 percent flyball rate, and just a 58.5 percent grounder rate. His hard hit rate was up four percent last year, at 24.1 percent. One of the most alarming numbers so far is that Strop is allowing six BB/9, as opposed to 2.85 last year.
- In 2015, his line drive rate was 19.7 percent, with a 51.3 percent ground ball rate, and a fly ball rate of 28.9 percent. His hard hit rate was a tad high in 2015, at 32.1 percent, and his lowest rate of soft contact occurred in 2015 as well, at just 17.3 percent.
Patience is key for fans
Based on these numbers, it’s clear that the Cubs have a gem in Pedro Strop, regardless of how he wears his hat. Strop has been one of the most effective relievers for the Cubs, if not all of baseball, for the better part of four years now. Based on the numbers presented here, it’s no question that Strop will turn it around and be just as effective as he has been in the past. For people to say that Strop has been bad, well, that is just, quite simply: