Cubs Prospects

Cubs call up pitching prospect Ben Brown, place Justin Steele on 15-day IL

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After the Chicago Cubs were dealt an incredibly difficult hand in their first game of the season following Justin Steele's exit with a left hamstring injury, fans on the North Side will now get a look at one of the team's top prospects.

The Cubs announced Saturday that right-handed pitching prospect Ben Brown will be called up to the big league team, with Steele being placed on the 15-day injured list with a left hamstring strain, retroactive to March 29.

Leading up to the Cubs' Saturday game against the Rangers, Craig Counsell addressed the media about Steele. The Cubs skipper said it's a Grade 1 strain, and while there's no exact timeline, the left-hander is expected to miss the entirety of April.

Though it's unknown whether Brown will take Steele's spot in the rotation or if other adjustments to the pitching staff will be made, Brown has spent time as both a starter and reliever over his minor league career.

Now 24 years old, Brown, the team's 10th-ranked prospect, split last season between Double-A Tennessee and Triple-A Iowa, posting an 8-8 record with a 4.27 ERA over 26 games and 19 starts.

Brown's excellent spring training likely contributed to him receiving the big league opportunity, as he managed a stellar 0.64 ERA over five games and two starts this spring training, surrendering just one run in 14 innings with five walks and 12 strikeouts.

With Steele expected to miss time, Brown is just one of the several pitchers the Cubs will turn to as they look to exercise their organizational pitching depth that has been viewed as a strength in recent years.

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