Pedro Strop Added to Roster as Cubs Place 3 Relievers on COVID List

The Cubs have placed right-handed pitchers Jason Adam, Dan Winkler and Brandon Workman on the COVID-19 injured list, clearing several openings in the bullpen. Left-handed pitchers Justin Steele and Brad Wieck have been recalled from the alternate site at South Bend while the left-hatted Pedro Strop has been selected as a replacement player from the alternate site.

Ed. note: Bullpen coach Chris Young tested positive, so the players in question are back in Chicago and isolating. Not an ideal situation.

Strop, Steele, and Wieck will all be available for Monday’s game in Milwaukee.

Steele, 25, was recalled by the Cubs last year on August 2, but did not appear in a game prior to being optioned back the alternate site, August 5. Though he has worked primarily as a starter throughout his professional career, working in a relief role might allow him to stay healthy and leverage his stuff a little better. Farm director Matt Dorey has compared Steele favorably to fellow lefty Brailyn Márquez, just without the triple-digit heat.

Wieck made the Opening Day roster last year, though he would not have been ready for a regular start date due to an offseason procedure to correct an irregular heartbeat. His season was short-lived, however, as he was placed on the injured list with a right hamstring strain after one appearance and did not pitch again in 2020. Wieck pitched in 44 MLB games between the Padres and Cubs in 2019, going 2-1 with a 3.60 ERA (4 ER/10.0 IP) in 14 games with Chicago.

The 35-year-old Strop is one of the best relievers in Cubs history and is now back after signing a minor league deal this winter. He actually joined the Cubs on a minors deal last year after being released by the Reds, but he was shut down at the alternate site before he could make his way back to Chicago. From 2013-19 with the Cubs, Strop was 21-24 with 29 saves, a franchise-record 120 holds, and a 2.90 ERA in 411 relief appearances.

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