Cubs Activate Justin Steele, Option Keegan Thompson

We’ve known the activation was coming for a while, See press release below for details.

The Chicago Cubs today activated left-handed pitcher Justin Steele from the 15-day injured 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, a game that can be seen on Marquee Sports Network and heard on 670 The Score and 1200 WRTO.

Steele, 28, landed on the injured list on March 30 (retro to March 29) with a left hamstring strain, an injury that he suffered on March 28. The lefthander had allowed one run and struck out six batters in 4.2 innings vs. Texas on Opening Day when he sustained the injury. With his outing in Texas, he became the 13th left-handed pitcher in Cubs franchise history to start on Opening Day (last, Jon Lester – 2019).

The six-foot two-inch Steele made his major league debut in 2022 and in 75 career games (64 starts), is 24-16 with a 3.28 ERA (129 ER/354.0 IP). In 2023, the left-handed pitcher went 16-5 with a 3.06 ERA (173.1 IP) in 30 starts, setting career-best marks in wins, starts, innings pitched and strikeouts, en route to his first career N.L. All-Star nod. He finished the season ranked among the major league leaders in wins (T-3rd) and ERA (6th). Following the campaign, Steele finished fifth in the N.L. Cy Young Award voting.

A Lucedale, Miss., native, Steele was originally selected by the Cubs in fifth round of the 2014 draft out of George County High School (Miss.). He has spent his entire 11-year professional career in the Cubs organization.

Thompson, 29, is 1-0 with a 3.38 ERA (4 ER/10.2 IP) in seven games out of the bullpen for the Cubs this season.

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