In a recent interview with the Chicago Tribune, Cubs pitching coach Chris Bosio hinted that the closer job was currently up for grabs between Pedro Strop and Hector Rondon. Lets take a look at the first half of that duo and see Pedro Strop’s case for the 9th inning role.
Strop had a very inconsistent season in 2013. Although his strikeout rate was a whopping 10.35 K/9, his walk rate sat north of 4 per 9 innings and his home run to fly ball rate ballooned from his previous season rates. In the end, Strop’s ERA sat above 4.50.
It wasn’t all doom and gloom though. Many advanced metrics were still very kind to Strop. His FIP sat at a very good 3.55 and his SIERA came in at 3.14. The fireballing right hander also significantly improved in the second half of 2013. In the 29 innings in the second half of the season, Strop halved his walk rate and maintained a very nice 3.41 ERA. He held his opponents to a .252 wOBA as well.
So what does the future hold for the 28 year old? There is optimism. Strop has always had high level raw stuff, but he has always had issues putting it all together. 2013 brought Strop his lowest walk rate yet, even after his horrible first half. Should he be able to build off his 2013 second half, Strop has the kind of potential to build himself in to one of the better closers in the National League.