Oh Sweet, Now Justin Steele Has Been Scratched

It’s the second day of games. The *SECOND* *DAY.* I was not prepared to be in freak-out mode about two of the Cubs’ most important players by the second gd day.

To be fair, I’m probably overreacting, but that’s kinda how it goes when Seiya Suzuki gets scratched on day one (and is now getting imaging done on his oblique) and Justin Steele gets scratched on day two:

With Steele, maybe this winds up being nothing. That happens sometimes early in the spring. A guy ramps up for spring games, starts to feel like his arm is fatigued more than usual, and there’s no reason to push to make a Cactus League start in February.

We’ve seen this kind of “fatigue” scratch before during Spring Training, and it winds up more or less nothing. You’d much rather Steele and the Cubs go this route than letting him throw meaningless innings at less than 100% right now.

That said, we’ll just have to keep an eye on this. The Cubs have the depth to handle the loss of a starting pitcher, yes, but Steele – who was quietly one of the best pitchers in baseball for a two-month stretch in the second half last year – is a guy whose performance could really go a long way toward elevating the Cubs’ results this year. He’s quite a bit more important than just being a pitcher in the rotation, and that’s the part that isn’t easily replaced by depth starters (even good ones).

written by

Brett Taylor is the Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and on LinkedIn here. Brett is also the founder of Bleacher Nation, which opened up shop in 2008 as an independent blog about the Chicago Cubs. Later growing to incorporate coverage of other Chicago sports, Bleacher Nation is now one of the largest regional sports blogs on the web.

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