Roster changes: Cubs activate option on Illinois right-hander Justin Steele

CHICAGO, IL – The Chicago Cubs today activated left-handed pitcher Justin Steele off the 15-day disabled list and optioned right-handed pitcher Keegan Thompson to Triple-A Iowa. Steele will start tonight’s game against the San Diego Padres at Wrigley Field at 6:40 p.m. CT with the game available on Marquee Sports Network, 670 The Score and 1200 WRTO.

Steele, 28, was placed on injured reserve on March 30 due to a left hamstring strain he suffered on March 28 (he returned on March 29). The left-hander pitched 4.2 innings in the opening game against Texas, where he was injured, allowing one run and striking out six. Upon arriving in Texas, he became the 13th left-handed pitcher in Cubs franchise history to start on Opening Day (the last being Jon Lester in 2019).

The 6-foot-2 Steele made his major league debut in 2022 and is 24-16 with a 3.28 ERA (129 ERA/354.0 ERA) in 75 career games (64 starts). In 2023, the left-handed pitcher started 30 games and posted a 16-5 record with a 3.06 ERA (173.1 IP) for his first National League career with no wins, no starts, no innings pitched, no strikeouts in every at-bat. I recorded a personal best. All Star nodded. He finished the season among the major league leaders in wins (T-3) and earned run average (6th). At the end of the campaign, Steele finished fifth in the national rankings. Vote for the Cy Young Award.

Steele, a native of Lucedile, Mississippi, was drafted by the Cubs in the fifth round of the 2014 draft out of George County (Mississippi) High School. He spent his entire 11-year professional career in the Cubs organization.

Thompson, 29, has appeared in seven games out of the Cubs’ bullpen this season, posting a 1-0 record with a 3.38 ERA (4/10.2 ERA).

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