Strop, a 33-year-old right-hander, felt a hamstring issue on his last pitch on Saturday against the Los Angeles Angels, his second appearance of spring training. An MRI on Monday revealed a mild strain. The Cubs said Strop is able to play catch but will not participate in game-related drills during the next week.
“The trainers are very optimistic,” Chicago manager Joe Maddon said Wednesday. “He’s still able to throw at a great distance. Whenever you’re able to keep your arm working, that matters.”
Morrow, a 34-year-old right-hander, had arthroscopic surgery on Nov. 6. He did not pitch last season after July 15.
“This guy has closer stuff,” Maddon said, also pointing out “he’s so good at shutting something down in the seventh or eighth, and I would not run away from that.”
St. Louis pitcher Carlos Martinez will begin the season on the injured list as the two-time All-Star tries to work his way back from shoulder weakness.
Martinez will not appear in an exhibition games. He is to throw on flat ground for the next week before moving to a mound.
St. Louis has not announced a timetable for Martinez’s arm strengthening program. The pitcher received a platelet-rich plasma injection two weeks ago, and manager Mike Shildt said treatment improved Martinez’s condition.
A 27-year-old right-hander, Martinez was the Cardinals‘ opening-day starter last year but did not pitch for St. Louis from May 8 until June 5 last year because of a strained right lat muscle, then was out between July 19 and 30 because of a strained right oblique and between July 30 and Aug. 21 because of a strained right shoulder.
When he returned, he pitched out of the bullpen and had five saves. He finished 8-6 with a 3.11 ERA in 18 starts and 15 relief appearances.
Noah Syndergaard allowed two hits in 5 2/3 shutout innings with five strikeouts and two walks. Robinson Cano hit his second home run, a two-run drive off Gerrit Cole, who allowed four hits in 4 2/3 innings. Derek Fisher drove in the Astros’ run.
Joey Rickard had a two-run single for Baltimore. Andrew Cashner allowed three runs, five hits and two walks in 3 2/3 innings, leaving him with a 8.64 ERA in three starts.
Marcus Stroman, scheduled to start Toronto’s opener, struck out six in 4 1/3 innings and allowing one run and two hits. Eric Sogard had a two-run single.
Byron Buxton hit his fourth home run — a solo shot — and doubled for Minnesota. C.J. Cron hit his first two doubles, and Jose Berrios allowed two runs and four hits in 3 1/3 innings.
Blake Swihart had two doubles and two RBIs for Boston, which has lost seven straight. Tate Matheny, a son of former Cardinals catcher and manager Mike Matheny, had a two-run triple. Nathan Eovaldi pitched three innings and allowed his only run on Buxton’s homer.
Ronald Acuna Jr. had three hits for a second straight day, finishing a home run shy of the cycle and driving in two runs for Atlanta. Acuna is 8 for 8 with a walk in his last three games. Tyler Flowers added a two-run homer.
Patrick Corbin gave up three runs, six hits and two walks in four innings.
Jose Urena allowed one run and two hits in four innings. JT Riddle had two hits.
St. Louis rookie Dakota Hudson, bidding for a starting job, allowed one run, two hits and three walks in three innings.