But if that was the plan, it didn't work so well.
Now, after this disaster against the Angels in his first real pressurized outing since he's been back, the Orioles need to figure out what to do with him going forward.
I'd look for Showalter to use him in as many low-pressure situations as possible until he starts making better pitches and gets his confidence back.
On the other hand, a manager can't always do that when he's trying to win in the toughest division in baseball.
When asked Wednesday if he'd hesitate to put Strop in a tight situation again with runners on, Showalter shrugged.
"We can't pitch the same guys every night," he said, meaning yeah, he might have to use Strop in that scenario.
Sure, Strop is definitely the fans' punching bag right now.
But so was shortstop J.J. Hardy when he got off to that the awful start and batted .191 in his first 30 games.
So was closer Jim Johnson not long ago, when he blew a few saves and Orioles fans were calling for his head.
Maybe Strop can turn it around, too. The Orioles need his power arm in the late innings as a bridge to Johnson in the ninth.
That's why the Orioles will give him every chance to pitch like the Pedro Strop of last season.
They really don't have much choice.
Listen to Kevin Cowherd Tuesdays at 7:20 a.m. on 105.7 The Fan's "The Norris and Davis Show."