How Much Longer Can Orioles Stick With Pedro Strop?

Pedro StropHow much longer can Buck Showalter keep running Pedro Strop out of the bullpen? Today, it cost the Orioles a chance of their first sweep of the season. And boy, would that have been incredibly nice with the first place Boston Red Sox coming to town for a four-game series.

With two on and none out in the top of the seventh, Strop came in to protect a two-run lead. The result was remarkably predictable. Strop attempted to field a Hank Conger grounder, that turned into an infield single. Erick Aybar would clear the bases with a triple and give the Angels a 6-4 lead. Then, two batters later Albert Pujols would hit a two-run homer and end Strop’s outing.

For Pedro, this was the first real test he’s seen since returning from a DL stint with a strained back. We heard all about how pitching in the World Baseball Classic resulted in Strop’s ineffectiveness this season. The truth is, Strop hasn’t been an effective relief pitcher since July of last season. His command has always been an issue and remained so in August and September of 2012 and into April, May and June of this season.

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I’m not sure why Showalter turned to Strop in a jam on Wednesday. Fans saw the Orioles lead vanishing from miles away. Tommy Hunter, Brian Matusz, T.J. McFarland, Darren O’Day and Troy Patton didn’t work in Tuesday’s game. Matusz and McFarland had two games rest while McFarland and Patton had three.

We’ve seen Showalter show faith in his bullpen guys before. Remember Jim Johnson‘s struggles? Sticking with him resulted in four blown saves. Strop’s issues, however, date back much further than JJ’s did.

With Mark Hendrickson and Jon Rauch pitching well at Triple-A Norfolk, I can’t imagine why the Orioles would continue to stick with Strop. They can’t afford to.

 

Zach Wilt is the Founding Editor of BaltimoreSportsReport.com and host of the BSR Podcast. He's a loyal Orioles, Ravens and Capitals fan who is obsessed with baseball, loves traveling, In-N-Out Burger and Walt Disney World.

13 Comments

  1. Joe Wendling

    June 12, 2013 at 3:57 pm

    Even Jim Palmer said that Strop is a thrower and not a pitcher

  2. Dave

    June 12, 2013 at 6:57 pm

    I am a bit surprised that one of Patton/Matusz weren’t used to at least get Conger out. Lord knows if either of the two would have gotten a right handed hitter out though. Starting to believe this was sort of a “d—ed if you do, d—ed if you don’t” situation considering the options outside of O’Day and Hunter.

    I know I talked to Zach (I think?) on Twitter about moving Gausman to the pen once Chen’s back. Everyone’s thoughts on that? To clarify, it would only be for this season. Obviously, Gausman’s future is clearly as a starter, but out of the pen, he could gain some confidence and get his feet wet. TBH, he won’t learn too much else from blowing away guys in AA. And he has been good the first time through a lineup if I recall.

    • Zach Wilt

      June 12, 2013 at 11:05 pm

      Yeah that was me on Twitter. I like the idea of Gausman in the pen when Chen returns. If it works in St. Louis, it works for me.

  3. MGW

    June 13, 2013 at 9:21 am

    Buck stuck with a young Adam Jones at the beginning of his career, despite his struggles.

    More recently, Buck stuck with Jim Johnson, who has righted the ship.

    Buck will know when it’s time to pull the plug.

    Never been a fan of booing the hometown guys, unless the effort is not there. Totally counterproductive.

    • Timothy53

      June 13, 2013 at 11:32 pm

      The effort was NOT there. He came off the mound laughing! What was funny about blowing up that game.

      And wear your damned hat right! You have not earned the right to your own “style.”

  4. Matt Lund

    June 13, 2013 at 11:51 am

    Wouldn’t be the first time and up and coming pitcher starts out in the bullpen for the Orioles. The O’s did it when Flanny, Scotty McGregor were coming up.

    Getting their feet wet in the pen, could do the same with Gausman when Chen returns instead of sending him down knowing he can dominate there and doesn’t have much left to prove.

    I get that Buck sticks with his guys, but both of those situations are different in my opinion. There was a reason Texas gave up on Strop, and outside of last April- to early July last season, Strop has not been good. Didn’t get the move to bring him in yesterday and I still don’t today.

    • MGW

      June 13, 2013 at 1:39 pm

      Texas also gave up on Chris Davis.

      Not sure how Nolan Ryan has been coronated as some “genius” given a number of suspect personnel moves they’ve made and the fact that they have yet to win a title despite one of the highest payrolls in the league.

      There’s quite a few pitchers on this team that are/have underperformed. Strop has got the gas and shown a few months of consistency – unlike a few of the other guys we keep holding onto – that continues to buy him time.

      The Orioles are in the midst another lenghty 16 game stretch with no break and -oh by the way – here comes the first place team in the division in for 4. You can’t keep running O’Day and Hunter out there everyday. Matusz and Patton have struggled, too. If you get Strop back to where he was the first half of last year, then your bullpen is that much more solid.

      Gausman is going out again tonight, if we want to talk about consistency.

  5. Matt Lund

    June 13, 2013 at 1:55 pm

    But there’s a ton more upside with Gausman and a ceiling he’ll likely reach with his arsenal.

    • 9inchnails

      June 13, 2013 at 2:59 pm

      Don’t annoint Gausman a savior yet. Strop will find his way and put an end to all this negativity. Look, Spy fond his way from Dundalk and reform school. Give Strop a break!

      • spy

        June 19, 2013 at 9:49 am

        I’m still in school as an out-patient,,,,,,,,,,,,,

  6. MGW

    June 13, 2013 at 2:35 pm

    My point was not that. My point was if Strop gets things straight, he’s going to be a valuable asset AND it’s not as if he hasn’t had a modicum of success at the major league level.

    Yesterday, he cost the Orioles a game, a game that could be the difference in winning a playoff spot or not winning one.

    Gausman, Arietta, and a few others have cost us a few games, as well.

    Those games count just as much as the one that got away yesterday.

  7. jack

    June 14, 2013 at 10:29 pm

    Pedro Strop is the Orioles version of Jose Valverde.

  8. 9inchnails

    June 15, 2013 at 7:28 am

    Thanks for your opinion Mr Meoff…..