Justin Steele

Cubs name Justin Steele as team's Opening Day starter

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On the heels of an All-Star campaign that included a fifth-place finish in National League Cy Young Award voting, the Chicago Cubs have named lefty Justin Steele as the club's starting pitcher for Opening Day.

While Steele was functionally the club's ace for the second half of the 2023 season as the Cubs willed themselves back into playoff contention, this year's Opening Day will mark the first such career start for the 28-year-old southpaw.

Headlining a rotation that is at least sure to include Shota Imanaga, Kyle Hendricks and Jameson Taillon making up a top four, Steele is the team's clear top arm heading into 2024.

After quietly putting together a stellar 2022 season with a 3.18 ERA over 24 starts that was overshadowed by Steele recording just four wins, his 2023 season catapulted him into the top tier of NL starters.

Across 30 starts, Steele posted an outstanding 16-5 record with a 3.06 ERA, striking out 176 hitters while only walking 36 in 173.1 innings of work. Only giving up 14 home runs in that span, Steele led the senior circuit in home runs allowed per nine innings at just 0.7.

The Cubs will open up their season on the road against the defending World Series champion Texas Rangers on Thursday, March 28, with first pitch slated for 6:35 p.m. local time.

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