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Cubs roster move: Justin Steele recalled, Brandon Workman designated for assignment

The hope Workman would get back to his 2019 levels appears to have failed.

Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

The Cubs, looking for any help they can get for their beleaguered bullpen (and, for that matter, rotation), made a switch in relievers Thursday afternoon.

Lefthander Justin Steele was recalled from the team’s alternate site at South Bend and righthander Brandon Workman was designated for assignment.

Steele was the Cubs’ fifth-round pick out of high school in Mississippi in 2014 and had some injury setbacks before he made his MLB debut April 12 against the Brewers. He’s pitched in three games for the Cubs this year, covering 3⅓ innings, with a 0.00 ERA and 0.900 WHIP and four strikeouts.

Workman had an outstanding year for the Red Sox in 2019, but regressed in 2020 with the Phillies. The Cubs signed him to a one-year contract for a reported $1 million (along with some incentives) February 18. It wasn’t working out — Workman made 10 relief appearances covering eight innings for the Cubs with a 6.75 ERA and 2.375 (!) WHIP, with 12 hits and seven walks allowed.

It’s possible he’ll clear waivers and be assigned to Triple-A Iowa, whose season starts next week.