Does Justin Steele need Tommy John Surgery? Latest injury update for Chicago Cubs vs. Padres

Tampa Bay Rays v Chicago Cubs
Tampa Bay Rays v Chicago Cubs / Nuccio DiNuzzo/GettyImages

It would appear that Chicago Cubs fans can breathe a sigh of relief in regard to the health of starting pitcher Justin Steele.

Steele was the starter for the Cubs' game against the Tampa Bay Rays this past Wednesday and left the game after the third inning due to forearm tightness. The concern anytime a starting pitcher has to leave a game due to forearm tightness is that it is a precursor to the pitcher needing Tommy John Surgery. Steele did undergo Tommy John surgery in 2017 and it would seem that this injury will not require a second surgery for Steele.

The Cubs had an off day on Thursday and with access to the team normally limited on off days, there was no official update on Steele yesterday. Cubs manager David Ross will likely provide an update on Steele's status prior to the team's game against the San Diego Padres on Friday night.

The one ask of the Cubs is that if it is likely that Steele will miss his next start, don't wait until the day of the scheduled start to place him on the Injured List. The Cubs have made common practice this season of playing with a shortened roster while debating the severity of an injury to a player. For the Cubs, with a bullpen that has been struggling, there would be added value to having another arm in the bullpen immediately as opposed to playing a pitcher short for the next few days.

It should be worth noting that Codi Heuer is eligible to be activated from the 60-day IL. Heuer has a 1.80 through his last five appearances with the Iowa Cubs while completing his minor-league rehab assignment. Upon his activation, the Cubs may automatically insert Heuer into high-leverage situations given the struggles that the bullpen has had late in games.

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