Strop confident he'll return by end of season
PHOENIX -- Cubs reliever Pedro Strop, who has been sidelined with a right hamstring strain since Thursday, is continuing to make progress and said Wednesday he expects to return to game action by the end of the regular season.
"Everything is pain-free. We're not trying to do too much," Strop said. "We're letting that thing heal. We're going to do whatever is possible to do."
Cubs manager Joe Maddon will continue to sort out the bullpen in the final 10 games. With Strop and Brandon Morrow both injured, left-hander Justin Wilson may be the leader as far as closer options.
"I still believe it's Justin," Maddon said. "But look at the acquisitions, [Jesse] Chavez and [Jorge] De La Rosa, look what they've done for us down there."
Chavez has a 1.44 ERA with three saves in 27 games with the Cubs, while De La Rosa has a 1.59 ERA and one save in 13 appearances. Wilson had 13 saves with the Tigers last season, but none since he was acquired by the Cubs.
Q ready for South Siders
Jose Quintana will open the Cubs' final road trip, but he'll be doing it in Chicago when they face his former team, the White Sox, in a three-game Interleague series, starting Friday.
"I knew one day, I'd go back to pitch there," said Quintana, who has a 22-27 record and 3.59 ERA in 84 games at Guaranteed Rate Field. "I'm excited. I pitched a long time there and I have fresh memories. It'll be good to be back. I'm just going to try to do my job and win a game."
Dealt to the Cubs in July 2017, this will be Quintana's first game against the White Sox.
"I played with them for a long time," he said. "It's exciting."
Schwarber might return Friday
Maddon is hoping Kyle Schwarber can play Friday. He did not accompany the team to Arizona, remaining home to rehab a sore back.
"I have not heard anything bad," Maddon said. "The plan before we left was to get Schwarbs ready for first game against the White Sox."
Cubs add Webster to bullpen
The Cubs selected the contract of right-handed pitcher Carl Webster and he joined the bullpen mix on Wednesday, getting a chance in the eighth inning against the D-backs. Webster gave up a two-run homer to Jeff Mathis with two outs in the eighth.
This is the first time he's been on a big league roster since 2015. The right-hander had a 1.13 ERA with three saves and 11 strikeouts with Double-A Tennessee and Triple-A Iowa from Aug. 11-Sept. 2. He signed a Minor League deal with the Cubs in early March. For the season, he posted a 2.65 ERA in 17 outings.
"When the season ended, I went home for a couple days," Webster said. "Then they called and told me just in case to stay in shape. I've stayed in shape at home. I came out here to the Spring Training complex last week."
He was able to work out at home with some other players who were preparing for winter ball. Webster had thought his season was over.
"I did for a few days and then they told me to keep going and I picked it back up and stayed in shape," he said. "I had a lot of smiles yesterday when they told me."
To make room for Webster on the 40-man roster, Morrow was transferred to the 60-day disabled list.
• Shortstop Nico Hoerner, the Cubs' first-round pick in this year's Draft, has been getting ready for the Arizona Fall League by working out at the team's facility in Mesa. Hoerner was shut down in July because of an injury to ligaments in his left elbow. The 24th player selected overall, he will be playing for the Mesa Solar Sox in the AFL, which opens play Oct. 9.
• Maddon will wear a replica football jersey of former St. Louis Cardinals kicker Jim Bakken on the flight back to Chicago. Maddon grew up a fan of the Cardinals since the days of quarterback Jim Hart, lineman Dan Dierdorf, wide receiver Mel Gray and running back Terry Metcalf in the 1970s. Maddon was a kicker (and quarterback) at Hazleton High School. An Arizona Cardinals representative presented Maddon with the jersey on Tuesday at Chase Field.