Chicago Cubs: These 10 players must have success this season

(Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
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Chicago Cubs
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Chicago Cubs: Talk about the glue that holds it all together

I’m not sure how, but to this day, Cubs fans don’t seem to fully appreciate what Pedro Strop has done for this franchise. Since coming to Chicago in the same trade that netted Jake Arrieta from the Baltimore Orioles, the impassioned right-hander has been nothing short of magnificent.

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Strop has made 261 appearances as a member of the Chicago Cubs, and in the 2018 NL Wild Card game, he showed just how much he’s willing to do for his teammates, pitching through a severe hamstring injury in an effort to push the club past the Colorado Rockies. While he kept the Rox off the board, as well know, it wasn’t enough to save the Cubs’ season.

Prior to his hamstring injury in September, it was more of the same from Strop. He pitched to a 2.26 ERA – his second-best single-season mark as a Cub, making 60 appearances, despite missing the final three weeks of the regular season.

In his Cubs career, he holds a sterling 2.63 ERA, 3.02 FIP and 1.020 WHIP across 331 2/3 innings of work. Really, there’s nothing more you can ask of from this guy. At this point, he deserves to be a Cub for the rest of his career. His value in 2019 may be higher than its ever been given the make-up of the pen.

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This is the arm that holds the Chicago relief corps together. When Brandon Morrow went down, he stepped into the ninth-inning job. When Joe Maddon needs a big out, this is the guy he turns to. Expect Strop in the ninth early in the season again in 2019 – a role he’s certainly deserved.