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Cubs to Promote Justin Steele, Evaluate Alzolay and Others Heading Into 2022

The Cubs will promote Justin Steele to start against the Brewers this week. Steele is one of many players the Cubs will evaluate in 2021 as they focus on 2022 and beyond.
Justin Steele Cubs

Photo: Marquee Sports Network

The Chicago Cubs will be promoting left-handed pitcher Justin Steele from Triple-A Iowa in the very near future. He will be making his next start during the upcoming Brewers series, which begins Monday. Patrick Mooney of The Athletic first reported the news.

Steele has played for both the Triple-A Iowa Cubs and the big-league team this season. In Iowa, Steele made five starts and appeared in a total of nine games. He owns a 1.32 ERA and a 0.99 WHIP in Iowa. Those numbers creep up just a bit to 2.03 and 1.05 from his 11 games in the big leagues this season.

Nonetheless, Steele has impressed the Cubs front office and the club will analyze his performances as they employ a six-man rotation.

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Club Focused on 2022 and Beyond

Steele's impending promotion foreshadows what should be an experimental August and September for the Cubs. After a debilitating 11-game losing streak in late June and early July followed by the mass exodus of core players Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant, and Javier Báez, the Cubs are certainly not making the playoffs in 2021 and will be looking to evaluate players for the 2022 season and beyond.

Ian Happ will certainly be one of those players. He has had a disastrous 2021 season, batting just .179 with an OPS of just .623, both career lows. He will have the chance to prove to the Cubs over the next two months why he should or should not get a new contract through arbitration for 2022.

The Cubs will closely examine Adbert Alzolay as well. In his first full season in the big leagues, Alzolay has a posted a 4.85 ERA and a WHIP of 1.18. The Cubs have team control over Alzolay for two more seasons and arbitration years in 2024-2026, so he will get another shot at pitching next season, but he must improve if the Cubs are to place more faith in him moving forward.

Photo: Marquee Sports Network