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Pedro Strop thinks he’ll be back before the end of the season

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Cubs closer Pedro Strop strained his hamstring last week and, at the time, the club said that he’d miss the rest of the regular season. He’s not so sure. Yesterday he said that he expects to return to game action before the playoffs begin. Strop told reporters that “everything is pain-free.”

Strop took over as the closer from Brandon Morrow, whose season is definitely over. Since Strop went down Steve Cishek, Justin Wilson, Jesse Chavez, Jorge De La Rosa, and Carl Edwards Jr. are handling ninth-inning duties on a rotating basis.

Strop is 6-1 with a 2.26 ERA and a K/BB ratio of 57/21 in 59.2 innings on the year. Getting him back would be a big deal for Chicago as they get ready for the postseason.

MLB calls umpire union statement about Manny Machado discipline “inappropriate”

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Earlier today the Major League Baseball Umpire’s Association made multiple posts on social media registering its displeasure at what it feels was the league’s weak discipline of Manny Machado following his run-in with umpire Bill Welke. It was an unusual statement, as it’s not common for umpires, individual or via their union to comment on such matters.

This evening, in an official statement, the league called it inappropriate:

“Manny Machado was suspended by MLB Chief Baseball Officer Joe Torre, who considered all the facts and circumstances of Machado’s conduct, including precedent, in determining the appropriate level of discipline.  Mr. Machado is appealing his suspension and we do not believe it is appropriate for the union representing Major League Umpires to comment on the discipline of players represented by the Players Association, just as it would not be appropriate for the Players Association to comment on disciplinary decisions made with respect to umpires.  We also believe it is inappropriate to compare this incident to the extraordinarily serious issue of workplace violence.”

That final bit, about workplace violence, is something that I didn’t really consider when I read the umps’ statements, but it’s a damn good point. In an age where people are literally shooting up workplaces, umpires making reference to that kind of thing in response to a player throwing a bat is pretty rich indeed. And in pretty poor taste.