Strop happy to relive glory days with Cubs
He wasn't gone as long as Jake Arrieta, but reliever Pedro Strop was happy to have a successful Cubs reunion on Tuesday, when he was the winning pitcher in a 3-2 victory.
Strop pitched the seventh inning, allowing a couple of baserunners, but no runs in his first appearance with the Cubs since Sept. 28, 2019.
"It felt amazing. When I was jogging to the mound, I got some goose bumps and everything," Strop said after the game. "It's been a long time since I got that type of feeling."
Strop was brought up from the South Bend alternate site when the Cubs put three relief pitchers on the injured list due to health and safety protocols.
He signed with Cincinnati as a free agent last year, but was released early in the season. He returned to the Cubs late last season, but was never called up to the major league roster.
"Obviously, this is never the way you want to get back in, people getting hurt or something like this," he said. "But I'm here. They know me, I like to compete and I'm always going to do whatever I can to give the team an opportunity right now. I'm not thinking about what's going to happen. I'm thinking about what can I do when I'm here to help this team win.
"So whatever they decide to do later on, I'm fine with it. I'm just going to accept. If they're going to keep me or send me back to the alternate site, I don't know what's going to happen. I'm just enjoying the moment, enjoying every second that I'm here and like I said, just help this team win."
Strop, with his colorful personality, was one of the most popular players in the clubhouse during the glory days of 2015-16 and beyond. Former teammate David Ross could appreciate having Strop back.
"I'm super happy for him," Ross said. "It's a guy that I trust personally because I've seen him in the moments. He did some really good stuff out there that goes unnoticed. The poise with men at first and second to change the signs on his own, in case guys were relaying the signs or picking them up.
"I thought he pitched well. He was throwing strikes. Came in, just like vintage Stropy and that's a guy I'd like to have on my side."