Cubs Roster Move: Steele is Back, Thompson Optioned

As expected, Justin Steele officially returns tonight to start for the Cubs for the first time since Opening Day, when he suffered a hamstring strain.

He’ll take the 26-man roster spot of Keegan Thompson, who has been optioned to Triple-A Iowa. It was mostly a very good stretch up with the big team for Thompson, though he struggled a bit the last two times out, and because he also tends to require longer times between outings to be good to go, he may not have been available (or effective) for the Cubs today or tomorrow.

All that said, I’d be very surprised if Thompson isn’t back with the big league team in due time. On the year, he’s got a 3.38 ERA over 10.2 IP (7 appearances), and at times has looked VERY much like he’s back. But as one of the few relievers with a minor league option year remaining – he’s using his final option year this season – it’s just how it’s going to be for certain guys this year. The nature of the up-down reliever. Hopefully he stays sharp at Iowa, and is back when there’s a need.

Since it’s Thompson that goes, I think you could see that as (1) a vote of confidence in Daniel Palencia, who has looked quite good, and (2) a further indication that Ben Brown might be doing something close to piggybacking tonight after Justin Steele.

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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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