Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Cubs Call Up Ben Brown, Justin Steele Injury Timeline Revealed

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Cubs Call Up Ben Brown to Replace Injured Justin Steele

The Chicago Cubs have called up pitching prospect Ben Brown ahead of Saturday night’s game against the Texas Rangers. Brown, 24, is replacing Cubs Opening Day starter Justin Steele, who left during the fifth inning of Thursday’s game with a hamstring injury. Steele was officially placed on the 15-day injured list retroactive to March 29.

The Cubs revealed that Steele suffered a Grade 1 strain in his left hamstring when he fielded a bunt attempt by Rangers center fielder Leody Taveras with one out in the fifth inning on Opening Day. Steele was able to walk back into the clubhouse under his own power, but after an MRI the Cubs confirmed that their ace will be out for an extended period of time.

It’s not completely terrible, but Steele is expected to miss the entire month of April. Cubs manager Craig Counsell told reporters on Saturday that the team is looking for Steele to make a full recovery and rejoin the starting rotation some time in May.

It stings, but on the positive side it appears as though the Cubs are breathing a bit of a sigh of relief because this isn’t a 2+ month injury for Steele.

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The Cubs already began the regular season with an injury in their rotation as veteran Jameson Taillon missed all of spring training. Taillon stayed back in Arizona, where he will continue to ramp up and hopefully be available to return in the middle of April. He was dealing with a back strain for the past few weeks.

These aren’t the circumstances in which Cubs fans wanted to see Brown up in the majors, but the hard-throwing righty was going to be a factor for this team in 2024. It just so happens to be a lot earlier than everyone expected. Brown has a nasty curveball that he pairs with a 94-97mph fastball.

If things go smoothly in the next handful of games, then Brown could be in line to make Wednesday’s start against the Colorado Rockies, which would be Steele’s turn in the rotation.

In his first full season in the Cubs minor league system, Brown posted a 4.27 ERA in 92.2 IP, while recording a great 32.6 K% between his time in Double-A and Triple-A in 2023.

(Previous Update)

Well, as if Opening Day couldn’t get worse, Cubs manager Craig Counsell told reporters that left-handed pitcher Justin Steele is expected to go on the injured list after leaving Thursday night’s game against the Texas Rangers with a hamstring injury.

Steele got hurt when he fielded a bunt attempt in the fifth inning and although some fans held out hope that it was only a cramp or a minor injury after seeing Steele walk off the field without any help, he is now going to be sidelined for at least a couple weeks. Counsell said Steele will get an MRI.

Cubs may already be feeling the aftereffects of not pursuing any of the top two free agent starting pitchers that signed relatively low-risk deals late in spring training. Those two pitchers are of course Blake Snell and Jordan Montgomery, who both signed two-year deals with the San Francisco Giants and Arizona Diamondbacks, respectively.

The Cubs lost 4-3 to the Rangers on Opening Day, blowing a one-run lead three separate times throughout the game.

(Previous Update)

What the fuck man! Justin Steele just exited his Opening Day start after fielding a bunt in the bottom of the fifth inning against the Texas Rangers. The Cubs’ ace made the play, but in doing so Steele appeared to injure his left leg. He was grabbing the back of his leg.

The only good news and who knows at this point, is that Steele was able to walk off under his own power after getting checked out by the team trainer.

Here’s the play.

The Cubs are already beginning the season testing their pitching depth as veteran right-hander Jameson Taillon is currently on the 15-day injured list because of a back strain. Taillon didn’t pitch a single inning during spring training, first missing time with a calf issue and then he suffered a back strain in the middle of March.

Young lefty Jordan Wicks and third-year pitcher Javier Assad are already in the starting rotation and if Steele has to miss extended time, then we might see 24-year-old right-hander Ben Brown come up to fill in. Brown was stellar in spring training and would be at the top of the list for the Cubs to call on after Steele’s Opening Day injury.

2 COMMENTS

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BearCub30
Mar 30, 2024 7:29 pm

Well maybe we keep smyly a little longer! Brown is definitely cutting his teeth tonight in the majors. 🤣

BearCub30
Mar 30, 2024 4:34 pm

Can we trade Smyly when Steele comes back? Asking for a friend

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