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Cubs closer Pedro Strop injures hamstring

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Cubs reliever Pedro Strop injured his left hamstring while running the bases in the 10th inning of yesterday’s victory over the Nationals.

Strop was trying to beat out a double play ball while hitting for himself after the Cubs took the lead. Cubs’ manager Joe Maddon said afterward that you can’t fault an athlete for trying to compete at 100% effort, and that’s true, but absolutely no one would’ve criticized him for going 50% there. Strop is needed on the mound, not beating out throws to first base. Tough break all around.

Strop will get an MRI but he said after the game that he thinks he’ll be out at least a couple of weeks. That definitely hurts a Cubs bullpen that was already down a man due to the injured Brandon Morrow, whose closer job Strop had assumed in second half. Now it’ll be Carl Edwards or Steve Cishek handling the ninth inning. Or, as the playoffs lead to quick hooks for pitchers, handing much earlier innings.

Carlos Martínez underwent ‘small procedure’ on right shoulder

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Cardinals president of baseball operations John Mozeliak confirmed on Sunday, to KMOX/1120 AM and StlToday.com, that pitcher Carlos Martínez underwent a “small procedure” to address discomfort in his right shoulder and encourage healing as well as a platelet-rich plasma injection.

Martínez, 28, began experiencing shoulder issues in 2018 which impacted his ability to pitch deep into games. Upon his return from the injured list in late August that year, the club moved him into the bullpen. He remained in the bullpen for 2019, making his season debut in May, and had a successful year, racking up 24 saves with a 3.17 ERA and a 53/18 K/BB ratio in 48 1/3 innings.

Martínez wants to start again and the Cardinals have said they will afford him the opportunity. He is expected to be on track to participate in spring training as usual.