ST. LOUIS -- Could Pedro Strop be the Cubs' closer in 2014?
The right-hander appears to be one of the options, although manager Dale Sveum said it's a little early to commit.
"He seems to be able to handle the eighth inning just fine," Sveum said Sunday. "[Naming the closer next year] is a long way away. Hopefully, you have seven closers out there."
Kevin Gregg, who picked up his 25th save on Saturday, is only signed for this season, while Strop, acquired from the Orioles in the Scott Feldman deal, will be arbitration eligible. This season, he's 0-for-3 in save situations with the Cubs, but has a 2.65 ERA. He began his time with the Cubs with 12 scoreless appearances over 10 2/3 innings.
Gregg survived getting hit by a line drive off the back of his right shoulder in the ninth on Saturday. Sveum said he'll use Strop in save situations in case Gregg isn't available this year.
"There's no plans to put [Strop] there just to see him," Sveum said.
The Cubs do hope Kyuji Fujikawa can help in the bullpen next year, but he's coming back from Tommy John surgery and most likely wouldn't be available until after the All-Star break.
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less