Results tagged ‘ Pedro Strop ’

1/17 Four Cubs sign; four swap numbers

The Cubs avoided arbitration with outfielder Nate Schierholtz, infielder Luis Valbuena and relievers James Russell and Pedro Strop on Friday, and exchanged salary figures with their other four arbitration eligible players, including Jeff Samardzija.

Schierholtz signed for $5 million, while Valbuena agreed to a $1.71 million contract and Russell signed a $1.775 million deal with the Cubs. Strop signed a $1.325 million contract.

The other four arbitration eligible players exchanged salary figures. The Cubs offered Samardzija $4.4 million, and he is seeking $6.2 million. Travis Wood filed for $4.25 million, and the Cubs countered at $3.5 million; Darwin Barney filed for $2.8 million, and the team offered $1.8 million. Justin Ruggiano, who the Cubs acquired in a trade with the Marlins for Brian Bogusevic, was seeking $2.45 million, and the team offered $1.6 million.

The players and the Cubs will continue to negotiate. Arbitration hearings are scheduled for Feb. 1-21 if no settlement is reached before then.

– Carrie Muskat

11/8 Pitching, pitching, pitching

Now that the Cubs have a manager in place, the next step is to stock the roster, and Theo Epstein said they are in the market for more pitching. Next week, Epstein will have face to face talks with representatives for free agents and start possible trade talks at the GM meetings. The Cubs have traded 40 percent of their starting rotation the last two seasons but Epstein said they are not looking for free agents who they can sign and then flip at the Trade Deadline.

“Every starting pitcher we acquire is someone we hope is starting Game One of the World Series for us,” Epstein said.

Last offseason, the Cubs courted free agents Anibal Sanchez and Edwin Jackson. Sanchez signed with the Tigers and went 14-8 with a 2.57 ERA in 29 starts, while Jackson agreed to a four-year, $52 million deal with the Cubs and finished 8-18 with a 4.98 ERA in 31 starts.

“We believe there’s a lot better ahead for Edwin Jackson,” Epstein said of the right-hander, who led the Majors in losses. “He stayed healthy for the entire season, he’s still only 30 years old, and his underlying performance was better than the stat line that you read on the scoreboard and he never quit. He’s certainly somebody who can impact us and fill a rotation spot going forward.”

Jackson will join Travis Wood, Jeff Samardzija, and Jake Arrieta in the Cubs’ 2014 rotation, but Epstein would like to add another starter. The Cubs will talk to Scott Baker, who spent the year rehabbing from Tommy John surgery and now is a free agent, but the right-hander also is exploring other options.

The Cubs also are in the market for a closer. After Carlos Marmol struggled and was then traded, and Kyuji Fujikawa was injured, Kevin Gregg stepped in and totaled 30 saves for the third time in his career. He’s now a free agent and shopping around.

“We have guys who could close,” Epstein said of the Cubs’ in-house options, “but I think that’s an opportunity for us. If you go to market with the closer’s role ready to bestow on somebody, that can help you sign a pretty good pitcher and can help your club. … We’re going to hit the market with a full closing opportunity to offer to the right pitcher we acquire, either through free agency or a trade, and know we have some interesting options in house.”

One of the players currently on the roster who could close is right-hander Pedro Strop, acquired from the Orioles in the Scott Feldman deal.

– Carrie Muskat

9/21 Cubs 3, Braves 1

The Cubs scored three runs in the eighth to post a 3-1 victory Saturday over the Braves, and force Atlanta to wait a little longer before clinching the NL East division. The Braves’ magic number is one. Anthony Rizzo hit a RBI double, Dioner Navarro smacked a RBI single and Nate Schierholtz hit a sacrifice fly in the eighth for the win. Pedro Strop pitched the ninth for his first save of the season. Carlos Villanueva got the win in relief of starter Travis Wood, who gave up one run over seven-plus innings. It was Wood’s 24th quality start. Wood is one inning shy of 200, and will get that in his next start Friday against the Cardinals.

Rizzo’s double was his 62nd extra base hit, the most by a left-handed Cubs batter since Corey Patterson’s 63 in 2004. Villanueva is now 5-0 with a 0.93 ERA in his last eight relief appearances.

The Braves may stay at Wrigley Saturday night to celebrate. They clinch the division if the Nationals lose to the Marlins

“One day, hopefully that will be us and we’ll move forward from there,” Wood said of the Braves.

– Carrie Muskat

9/19 Strop to close

Kevin Gregg has saved the Cubs this season, stepping in to notch his third career 30-save season. But the Cubs have decided to look ahead, and will use right-hander Pedro Strop in save situations in the final games. Strop, acquired from the Orioles in the Scott Feldman trade, was 0-for-3 in save opportunities this season, and has 15 holds.

“I’ll try to get him an opportunity,” manager Dale Sveum said Thursday of Strop.

The switch is not a reflection on Gregg’s performance. The right-hander was 32-for-37 in save situations. But Gregg will be a free agent after this season. Strop will be entering his first arbitration year.

“Kevin’s done far and above the call of duty,” Sveum said. “He’s done one heck of a job. It’s going to be an opportunity [for Strop]. We want to see what he does in that role. Kevin has been one of the better closers in all of baseball. God knows where we’d be without him.”

– Carrie Muskat

9/4 Extra bases

* Dale Sveum played for the Pirates from 1996-97 and again in 1999, and he knows all about the losing seasons in Pittsburgh. On Tuesday, the Pirates won their 81st game, and are guaranteed their first non-losing season in 21 years.

“It’s obviously been a tough run for them for 20 years,” Sveum said. “I was there for parts of it, and it’s good to see they finally got over that hump, and not only got over the hump, but there’s an above average chance they’ll be in the playoffs as well. It’s good for the city and the organization. A lot of people have been there for a long time. It’s nice to see that organization turn the corner.”

The Cubs still have seven games against the Pirates with a series in Pittsburgh Sept. 12-15 and at Wrigley Field Sept. 23-25. After Wednesday’s game against the Marlins, the Cubs will play 20 of their final 23 games against National League Central teams.

* The Cubs don’t know who will be their closer in 2014, but Sveum said they may use right-hander Pedro Strop in save situations in the final month of games.

“I don’t think you’ll have any idea at the end of this season about what’s going to happen,” Sveum said of the Cubs’ ‘pen. “So many things go into play there and it’s a long offseason. Certain things come up. There’s no way you can predict or plan what’s going to happen by Spring Training next year.”

The Cubs have used 21 relievers this season, with Chang-Yong Lim and Justin Grimm in the bullpen waiting to make an appearance.

* No decision has been made on the next step for right-hander Scott Baker, who made his final Minor League rehab start on Monday for Class A Kane County. Baker has been rehabbing from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow, which he had in April 2012.

* With right-hander Alberto Cabrera making his season debut and lefty Zac Rosscup making his big league debut, the Cubs have utilized 52 players, one shy of the franchise record 53 who appeared last year. Still looking to make their debuts are Lim, Grimm and catcher J.C. Boscan.

The Cubs have utilized 11 rookies this season, and only four players on the current 25-man roster were on the 2012 Opening Day roster. That list includes Starlin Castro, Darwin Barney, James Russell and Jeff Samardzija.

* On Friday, the Cubs play host to the Brewers for a weekend series. Here are the pitching matchups:

Friday: LHP Chris Rusin (2-3, 2.74) vs. RHP Kyle Lohse (9-8, 3.32)
Saturday: RHP Jake Arrieta (2-1, 3.77) vs. RHP Johnny Hellweg (0-3, 10.97)
Sunday: LHP Travis Wood (8-11, 3.17) vs. RHP Yovani Gallardo (10-9, 4.31)

– Carrie Muskat

7/4 Numbers game

* When Matt Guerrier and Pedro Strop get in a game, they will be the 40th and 41st players to appear for the Cubs this year. The team will have used 23 pitchers after both make their debut (warming up in the bullpen doesn’t count).

The Cubs’ record for players utilized prior to the All-Star break is 41, set in 2000. Last year, the Cubs used 40 players prior to the break, the only other time in franchise history the club reached at least 40 players at the midway point.

* The Cubs have set a new franchise mark by utilizing 21 pitchers before the All-Star break. The previous high was 20 in 2012, 2011, 2008 and 2005.

Last year, the Cubs utilized 53 different players, establishing a single-season club record for players. The previous record was 51 players, set in 2000.

* Only seven players on the current 25-man roster were on the 2012 Opening Day roster: Luis Valbuena, Starlin Castro, Alfonso Soriano, Darwin Barney, James Russell, Jeff Samardzija and Matt Garza. At the same time, more than half of the players on the current 25-man roster — 13 — have joined the Cubs since the end of the 2012 campaign. Nine players on the current 25-man roster were not on the 2013 Opening Day roster.

7/3 Roster moves

The Cubs designated reliever Shawn Camp for assignment on Wednesday and optioned pitcher Chris Rusin to Triple-A Iowa to make room on the active roster for new relievers Pedro Strop and Matt Guerrier.

Camp, 37, who was sidelined with a sprained right big toe in June, was 1-1 with a 7.04 ERA in 26 games with the Cubs. He gave up 34 hits and walked nine over 23 innings. Cubs manager Dale Sveum called the right-hander the MVP of the first half last year when Camp compiled a 2.80 ERA in 43 games. He hasn’t been as successful this season.

Rusin, 26, was called up to start on Tuesday in place of Scott Feldman, who was dealt to the Orioles earlier in the day. Against the Athletics, Rusin gave up three runs on six hits over 3 1/3 innings in the start, which he made on three days rest.

Strop and Guerrier were both acquired on Tuesday in separate deals. Strop was picked up from the Orioles along with Jake Arrieta, who was assigned to Triple-A Iowa, while Guerrier was acquired from the Dodgers for Carlos Marmol. Guerrier, 34, was 2-3 with three holds and a 4.80 ERA in 34 relief outings with the Dodgers before he was designated for assignment on Sunday.

Strop, 28, was one of the Orioles’ primary set-up pitchers last season, posting a 2.44 ERA in 70 appearances. This year, he missed time because of back problems, and was 0-3 with a 7.25 ERA in 29 relief appearances.

– Carrie Muskat

7/2 Scouting report

Cubs closer Kevin Gregg was a teammate of Jake Arrieta and Pedro Strop last year with the Orioles, and was with Matt Guerrier on the Dodgers in Spring Training. When he heard that the Cubs had acquired Arrieta and Strop on Tuesday, he was surprised.

“I couldn’t believe when I heard it, that we got both Arrieta and Pedro,” Gregg said Tuesday. “That’s two big pickoffs. Stuff-wise, you’re looking at two good arms.”

The Cubs sent Scott Feldman to the Orioles for Arrieta and Strop, and dealt Carlos Marmol to the Dodgers for Guerrier. Strop and Guerrier were expected to join the team and be in the bullpen on Wednesday, while Arrieta will go to Triple-A Iowa.

“Strop had a great year last year, and was part of the best bullpen in baseball,” Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. “This year has not been going so good. I guess he was on the [disabled list] with back problems. We’re getting a power arm. Guerrier will be a guy you can use in multiple roles, like [Carlos] Villanueva is for us now.”

Gregg said both Arrieta and Strop have good arms and a good mix of pitches.

“Pedro is a great bullpen guy,” Gregg said. “He had an outstanding year last year and just got in a funk this year. I think it’ll be good to get him here and get him pitching. He needs to pitch more to be successful.”

In 2012, Strop compiled a 2.44 ERA in a career-high 70 games, striking out 58 over 66 1/3 innings. He has a 7.25 ERA in 29 games this season with the Orioles. Maybe the right-hander needs a change of scenery?

“It could be good for him,” Gregg said of Strop. “He left Texas and came to Baltimore and did outstanding, and then got in a funk again. When he came to Baltimore, we weren’t winning, and he got in a groove and ran with it. He had a couple rough outings and got pushed to the side a little. I’m excited. It’s a great pickup for the Cubs.”

Gregg, who in the Dodgers camp this spring, also talked to Guerrier about his role. The newest Cubs pitcher had a 4.80 ERA in 34 appearances with the Dodgers.

“He’s a solid reliever who has been there, done that,” Gregg said of the right-hander. “The change of scenery could help him, too. We talked a little in Spring Training because he was under the microscope in spring with the situation the way it was there.”

– Carrie Muskat

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