Strop plans to throw another bullpen session Saturday
Relief pitcher Pedro Strop said Thursday he'll throw another bullpen session Saturday as he nears a return from a left-hamstring strain.
Strop added he has been pain free for a week and that he hopes to avoid a minor-league rehab stint.
"You know me, I'm going to say no," he said. "They're going to make their decision by themselves without asking me because if they ask me I'm going say I don't need it."
This is the third time since last September Strop has been slowed by a hamstring problem. He has been working on strengthening the leg, and the Cubs may want him to face minor-league hitters at least once for him to test it in a game situation before being activated.
"The plan was to keep him throwing in the bullpen and then eventually get him to go out and pitch," said manager Joe Maddon. "That's what we had talked about. Typically I'm wide open. We have not finalized any of that. All I've heard is how well he's been throwing in the bullpen. We're just being overly cautious because we don't want this to happen again. All that considered, we'll talk about it. The biggest thing is you want to send him out there normally to see batters. You're sending him out because you think his leg is well."
Infielder-outfielder Ian Happ went 4-for-4 with 2 doubles, a home run and 5 RBI Wednesday for Class AAA Iowa. Happ, who spent all of last year and most of 2017 with the big club, has been at Iowa all season.
The Cubs are in no rush to promote him.
"That would be something that would (have to be) sustained and then you would have to start listening," Joe Maddon said. "I'm following him via video, watching the at-bats. I'm doing that almost daily with him. I know prior to that he had had some problems with some strikeouts. Then he hit a home run the other day. It seems like that's led to these other home runs."
Happ entered Thursday at .240/.362/.422 with 6 homers, 27 RBI and 48 strikeouts in 154 at-bats.
Also in Wdnesday's Iowa game, pitcher Adbert Alzolay made his second start and worked 5 innings, giving up 3 hits and 1 run while walking none and striking out six.
Around the horn
Anthony Rizzo had a season-high 4 hits in Thursday's 9-7 loss to the Phillies. That ties a career high. He has 9 homers in the last 20 games ... Javier Baez recorded his 30th extra-base hit. He is the first Cub with at least 30 extra-base hits in the team's first 48 games since Mark Grace (30) in 1995.