Identified as a splitter by both Baseball Savant and FanGraphs, this pitch by Strop behaves more like a changeup. It lacks the same bowling ball-like falling action of traditional splitters, but was still devastating in with minimal usage. Only thrown 5% of the time, it generated the second highest K% of all his pitches (27.3%).
Strop’s fastball has always had great running action in on lefties. What it lacks is control and effectiveness, as it produced a greater number of walks than strikeouts in 2019 while being hit harder than each of his other pitches.
Strop’s take on the hip, new ‘slutter’, the pitch moves similarly to his slider. 5 mph faster and with far less drop, the pitch generating an uninspiring amount of swings and misses (25.8%) and was barreled 9.1% of the time. Surprisingly, its exit velocity against was a lowly 84.0 mph
Strop’s most used pitch, his bread and butter, this slider has been devastating for an entire decade. Acting more like a slurve, it generated a .190 wOBA against and only allowed 8 hits all year.
Strop ended his 2018 with a 2.26 ERA in the back of the Cubs’ bullpen. His success stems from a devastating slider that paralyzed opponents to a -6 wRC+ and 28.0% swinging-strike rate. While he didn’t throw it roughly half the time like in 2016, he deployed the knockout blow on 30% of his pitches. The slider could propel him to a full season with Chicago’s closing gig.
Strop threw his two-seamer more than his four-seamer at a higher velocity. It levied a near-average 99 wRC+, but served its purpose by spawning a 53.2% ground-ball rate. He allowed just one of his four homers with the foundational offering.
After introducing a cutter in 2017, Strop made it an integral part of his arsenal last season. Its usage rate nearly doubled from 15.1 to 29.6% at his four-seamer’s expense. A resulting 68 wRC+ and 17.9% swinging-strike rate should motivate him to squeeze even more value out of the welcome addition.
The worst of his four main pitches, Strop’s fastball surrendered a 131 wRC+ in 2018. That’s why it became the fourth pitch on his call sheet behind a stupendous slider, solid sinker, and a cutter he placed more faith in last season. He throws his four-seamer (95.1 mph) hard, but it didn’t miss many bats with a middling 7.8% swinging-strike rate.
Strop’s splitters thrown catapulted from six to 16 in 2018. It didn’t generate a single whiff either season. He hardly needs it while already harnessing three plus pitches (slider, cutter, and sinker) beyond his four-seam fastball.