The Cubs, as you know, have had quite a number of issues in the bullpen so far this year.
In an attempt to address those issues, they’re making a change among relievers:
Cubs officially recall LHP Justin Steele from the South Bend group. RHP James Norwood goes to the 10-day IL with right shoulder inflammation (retro to Thursday).— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) August 2, 2020
Justin Steele was the Cubs’ fifth-round pick in 2014 out of George County High School in Mississippi. He turned 25 about three weeks ago. Steele put up decent numbers in 2017, then missed quite a bit of the 2018 season due to injury and also made just 11 starts in Double-A last year, with mediocre results (5.59 ERA, 1.681 WHIP). He also made three Spring Training appearances for the Cubs this year and the results were not good, though in a small sample size (2⅔ innings, two hits, six walks, six earned runs).
He’s pitched mostly as a starter in the minor leagues (80 appearances, 75 starts) but will be a reliever with the Cubs. That might work, as he’s got excellent stuff, even though he hasn’t been tested above Double-A yet.
James Norwood has made three appearances for the Cubs this year with a 16.20 ERA and 3.000 WHIP, striking out zero of the nine batters he faced. Norwood can dial it up to 97-98 miles per hour, but has not been able to show consistency at the big-league level. Hopefully, Steele can help out a bullpen that could really use the help.
Steele will wear uniform No. 35, last worn by Cole Hamels in 2019.