Cubs place Justin Steele on IL, call up a top prospect
The Cubs made a roster move ahead of Saturday night’s game in San Diego, placing star starter Justin Steele on the 15-day IL with a forearm strain (retroactive to June 1).
In his place, the team called up rookie catcher Miguel Amaya for his second stint with the big-league club.
Steele exited his start Wednesday after 3 innings with the forearm strain. The Cubs are not concerned that it will be a long-term issue but he was expected to miss some time and this way, the team will be able to play at full strength while Steele recovers.
“Just precautionary reasons and making sure long-term we’re setting everybody up to finish the season and not be down for too long without an arm in the bullpen,” David Ross told reporters in San Diego.
Hayden Wesneski will take Steele’s turn in the rotation, which is expected to come up again on Tuesday in the series opener against the Angels in Anaheim.
The Cubs called Wesneski up from Triple-A Iowa on Tuesday when they optioned reliever Michael Rucker down to the minors.
The 25-year-old right-hander threw 3.2 innings of relief after Steele departed Wednesday’s game. Wesneski began the year in the rotation before being sent back down to the minors in mid-May. In total, he is 2-2 with a 4.81 ERA and 1.28 WHIP in 9 outings.
Steele has been a major bright spot for the Cubs this season, going 6-2 with a 2.65 ERA and 1.06 WHIP in 12 starts.
Amaya spent a week up in the majors early last month when Yan Gomes was on the IL. He impressed throughout his first 6 MLB games and provides another catching option for the Cubs early on this West Coast trip.
In 28 games with Double-A Tennessee and Iowa, the 24-year-old backstop is hitting .294/.431/.565 (.996 OPS) with 10 doubles and 5 homers.
“Miggy earned the ability to get another call-up with how he performed last time, putting himself on the map and filling in while Yan was down was really important,” Ross said to the media in San Diego. “He did a really nice job of coming in and proving what we believed for a long time.
“He’s well on his way to being an everyday big-leaguer and just another opportunity that presented itself for him to come in and impact us and help win ballgames.”