Cubs: Pedro Strop arrives in camp; but does he have anything left?

(Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
(Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

Pedro Strop is back with the Chicago Cubs and arrived at camp this weekend. But it’s worth wondering if he has anything left in the tank at age 35.

Two years ago when Strop walked off the mound as a Cub for the final time, it’s fair to say it wasn’t the ending either side of that relationship had envisioned. After locking down the late innings and getting big outs for the better part of a decade, the right-hander struggled for much of the 2019 campaign and that’s hardly a fair lasting impression to have when thinking of his stint in Chicago.

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Then, he linked up with Cincinnati last season and struggled in every sense of the word. A groin injury seriously impacted his mechanics – and his effectiveness. Now, with the Cubs going for quantity over quality when it comes to assembling a mix of bullpen arms, he’s back with the North Siders looking for a late-career resurgence.

"“He’ll fall right into line, get in the mix,” Cubs manager David Ross said, “and be able to get out there and compete real soon. I told him I have an office now. That if he needed to talk to me, he could come to the office. That was fun to say.”"

Strop won’t be the closer – or even the setup man for that matter. And with good reason. It’s been basically three years since he showed he can be consistently effective at the big league level. While nostalgia is running high in Mesa with Strop and former NL Cy Young winner Jake Arrieta in camp, that’s all fine and well. 

But the simple truth is this. Chicago has to go into this season expecting nothing from Strop. They have no choice in the matter. Never mind the 411 career appearances as a member of the Cubs or the sterling 2.90 ERA he posted during that span.

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"“We’re glad to have him here,” Ross said. “It’s nice just to have him back walking around the clubhouse. I don’t know — it makes me smile. It makes me happy to see him. I think it makes a lot of guys happy.”"