Pedro Strop, acquired from the Rangers on a waiver claim that sort of qualified him as a player to be named later, struck out two Rays during a perfect eighth inning tonight.
I know very little about Strop besides how he was signed by the Rockies as a shortstop and became a pitcher four years later. I heard he threw in the mid-90s and had a live arm, which is much better than having a dead one.
Strop fanned B.J. Upton and Sean Rodriguez tonight, and retired Casey Kotchman on a fly ball to center field. Upton had five RBIs tonight, so getting him back in the dugout without any damage done was a nice accomplishment.
Strop’s fastball twice registered 96 mph to Upton, and the strikeout came on an 83 mph slider. Kotchman flied out on a 95 mph fastball, and Rodriguez fanned on an 84 mph slider.
Michael Gonzalez will become a free agent after the season. The Orioles wanted to get something for him before he left. The Rangers made the best offer, giving the Orioles another potential late-inning reliever in 2012.
The bullpen will be under construction again this winter, as it always is, and Strop could factor into it.
He didn’t do anything tonight to discourage the Orioles, and I’m guessing that manager Buck Showalter will throw a little love his way in the postgame interview on MASN2.