Showalter: Strop could have pitched Friday

Showalter: Strop could have pitched Friday

BOSTON -- Orioles manager Buck Showalter said he could have used setup man Pedro Strop in Friday night's game in an emergency. But Showalter wanted to stay away from him to give the right-hander back-to-back rest days.

"I heard an old pitching coach describe it as 'a little crispy', but he's ready to go today," said Showalter, who instead used reliever Darren O'Day for two innings to bridge to closer Jim Johnson. "A lot of people forget this guy's got a screw in his elbow. We've been very careful with managing his innings and trying to be careful with his [warmups].

"A lot of these guys, it's the first time they've been through this type of season, that type of stressful innings, but he's fine. He could have pitched last night."

Strop, who had a 1.21 ERA his first 51 outings, has struggled over the last few weeks, recording a 7.56 ERA in his last 15 games. He has said that he doesn't think it's a fatigue factor, and Showalter agreed.

"He's going through a little spell where some things aren't going his way," Showalter said. "He's had a couple flares fall in and a couple 3-2 borderline walks. He's a guy that we have a long memory with. We'll continue to run our best options out there. We still think he's one of them."

Strop's recent struggles continued on Saturday, as he allowed one run during his one inning of work during the O's 9-6 win in 12 innings over the Red Sox.