The Cubs have activated left-handed pitcher Justin Steele from the paternity list and optioned right-handed pitcher Anderson Espinoza to Triple-A Iowa. Steele last pitched on July 4 and was placed on the paternity list on July 9, effectively missing one start. He will take the bump Wednesday in the Cubs’ second game against the Orioles.
The lefty is 3-5 with a 4.13 ERA and a team-high 76 strikeouts in 16 starts this season, establishing himself as a viable member of the rotation moving forward. Steele has pitched better than his numbers indicate, largely due to having some defensive miscues, and he continues to improve thanks in part to some advice from Jon Lester.
Steele’s baby was born on Monday, which happened to be his 27th birthday. As CHGO Cubs reporter Ryan Herrera tweeted, Steele said it’s the “Best birthday present I’ve ever had.”
Steele’s baby was born Monday morning, the same day as Steele’s 27th birthday.
“Best birthday present I’ve ever had.” https://t.co/SaAuQZfntL
— Ryan Herrera (@ryan_a_herrera) July 12, 2022
Espinoza is 0-1 with a 3.86 ERA in two games out of the bullpen with the Cubs this season. He made his major league debut in game two of a doubleheader on May 30 vs. Milwaukee.