Justin Steele

Justin Steele rejoins Cubs' roster in huge boost to rotation

Steele was injured on Opening Day, suffering a hamstring injury against the Rangers

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Chicago Cubs ace Justin Steele will make his long-awaited return to the mound on Monday night, taking on the San Diego Padres at Wrigley Field.

In a corresponding roster move, the Cubs have optioned pitcher Keegan Thompson to Triple-A Iowa, according to the team.

Steele hasn’t pitched for the Cubs since Opening Day, when he suffered a hamstring injury in the fifth inning of his start against the Texas Rangers. He struck out six batters and gave up one earned run before pulling the muscle while fielding a ground ball against the defending champions.

In 30 starts last season, Steele posted a 16-5 record with a 3.06 ERA, with 176 strikeouts and just 36 walks. He was named a National League All-Star for the first time in his career, and finished fifth in National League Cy Young voting.

Thompson has had a largely successful run with the Cubs this season, with 14 strikeouts in 10.2 innings. He has posted a 3.38 ERA in seven total appearances with the North Siders this season.

The Cubs and Padres will kick off their series on Monday night at Wrigley, with first pitch set for 6:40 p.m.

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