Pedro Stop injured his knee while sliding to make a play on a dribbler in the 8th. It didn’t really look bad until it looked bad, as Strop went from walking gingerly to bending his knees to being helped of the field while avoiding putting weight on his left leg. After seeing Kyle Schwarber laid low, everyone feared the worst.
Well, Strop and the Cubs avoided the worst. In fact, the news that followed an MRI Thursday afternoon certainly was actually pretty encouraging, all things considered. His ligaments are intact, but Strop has a torn meniscus (crescent-shaped cartilage that provides cushion and structural integrity to the joint) in his left knee and will undergo arthroscopic surgery on Friday to repair the damage. The Cubs are saying he’ll be on the shelf for 4-6 weeks, which would put him on track to return by mid-September at the earliest.
As expected, Justin Grimm has been recalled from AAA Iowa to take the open roster spot. While Joe Maddon has said he wants to continue easing Carl Edwards Jr into mix, you have to think he’ll see more action in bigger situations moving forward as well. Maddon also said that Joe Smith would shoulder more of the load.
Hector Rondon is still a bit of a question mark, though he’s going to throw a side session Friday and could be ready to pitch by Saturday. As such, the Cubs aren’t in dire need of another reliever. Yet. I looked earlier at the possibility of Armando Rivero being called up from AAA (hint: it’s unlikely) and Spencer Patton has had a couple cups of coffee as well. And, as I keep bringing up, there’s that old guy who used to be really good for the Twins and Rangers who’s still knocking around.
With a sizable division lead, the Cubs should be able to weather the next several weeks just fine. Certainly not an ideal situation, but the silver lining could be more high-leverage experience for Edwards. And if Strop can come back and knock off the rust in short order, he should be ready in time for the postseason.