By Bruce Levine–
CHICAGO (CBS) — The Cubs will welcome back setup man Pedro Strop on Friday. He’s been on the disabled list since Aug. 11 with a meniscus tear in his left knee that was then followed by a strained groin.
Initially, Strop was expected back about 10 days ago from the meniscus tear, but he strained his groin while doing some weight exercises during his rehab, prolonging his time on the DL.
On Tuesday, Strop threw 20 to 25 pitches in a simulated game and went through different bunt plays and quick movements in the session. These drills were part of testing the knee and groin injuries.
“I was competitive and didn’t want anyone to get a hit against me,” Strop insisted about his intensity level. “I am pretty sure in high-leverage situations, I am going to just be myself as usual. Everything should be normal.”
The initial plan for getting Strop back to playoff-ready form?
“Five games before the playoffs,” Strop said. ” That should be a good stretch of time for me to do my thing. This will give them (the coaching staff) time to get the confidence and see that I am good again. I think five games is good enough.”
Strop is looked at as an essential piece of the bullpen puzzle, leading to the 103-mph closer Aroldis Chapman in the ninth inning. Both Hector Rondon and Strop will be expected to handle the late-inning high leverage duties in October.
The 31-year-old Strop has a 2.89 ERA and 0.89 WHIP in 50 appearances this season.
Bruce Levine covers the Cubs and White Sox for 670 The Score and CBSChicago.com. Follow him on Twitter @MLBBruceLevine.