Projecting next year’s Chicago Cubs starting rotation

(Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs / Justin Steele
(Photo by Chase Agnello-Dean/Getty Images) /

Justin Steele continues to climb the ranks in the Cubs rotation

Justin Steele has been electric at times since getting the call to the big leagues. There is a future for the crafty lefty out of the bullpen if the Cubs wanted to utilize his arm from there but I like his fit as a starter that can give them six strong innings to open it up.

Steele has hit some bumps along the way but rough outings are to be expected from a guy with limited experience. He is second on the Cubs in innings pitched this season with 54 innings under his belt. He also leads the team in strikeouts and has allowed just two home runs.

Command is an issue for Steele and that will be something to keep an eye on as he progresses as a starting pitcher for this organization. He has walked a team-high 26 batters through 12 starts.

His 1-5 record in 2022 is a testament to his team’s struggles and less of a sign of his pitching. Sure, Steele has had some poor starts but his run support and bullpen help have been a disaster.

Unfortunately for Steele, he has four starts of at least five innings with just one earned run or fewer to his credit that have resulted in a no-decision. The Cubs, as a team, have lost three of those four, including Steele’s last two starts – both of which were gems against quality teams.

For whatever reason, the offense can never seem to get it going when Steele is on the rubber and his numbers are taking a bit of a hit. If everything is put together, Steele can be a very solid lefty starter for a long time in Chicago.