Pedro Strop had been a key part of the Chicago Cubs bullpen for years. From 2013 through 2019, he was a mostly dependable reliever, serving in a variety of roles as needed. After spending a year with the Reds in 2020, Strop returned to Chicago, signing a minor league deal for the current season.
Although he was at the alternate training site, Strop was still a key depth piece for the Cubs. However, he has taken a leave of absence from the team for personal reasons, with the Cubs declining to give more information.
Pedro Strop takes leave of absence from Chicago Cubs
Strop had spent a brief amount of time in Chicago this season, appearing in two games when their bullpen was hit by COVID. He allowed two hits and two walks in his two innings, striking out three without allowing a run. However, he was back to the alternate site when the bullpen was healthy.
He has had the best run of his career during his time with the Cubs. Between his previous seven year stint, and his brief showing this season, Strop has a combined 2.88 ERA and a 1.053 WHiP in his 375 innings, striking out 428 batters with 149 walks. He also notched 120 holds and 29 saves as a Cub, filling a valued role at the back of the bullpen.
Those days of dominance may be long behind him now. The soon to be 36 year old has battled command issues throughout his career, which have become progressively worse over the past few years. While he was still averaging more than a strikeout per inning, his walk rate has spiked, to the point where he issued six walks in 2.1 innings last year.
It is fair to wonder if Strop is willing to continue his career. He may not want to head back to the minors at this point, preferring to retire than deal with the bus rides and hassle of the minor leagues. But that is just speculation as there is little information about Strop’s reasons for his departure.
Pedro Strop has taken a leave of absence from the Chicago Cubs for personal reasons. At this point, it is fair to wonder if he is interested in continuing his career.