Justin is in his first full season in the Cubs organization after he was acquired from San Diego in May of 2017 for outfielder Matt Szczur ... a veteran of seven minor league campaigns, is 26-33 with a 3.95 ERA (228 ER/520.0 IP) in 149 games (90 starts)... Pitched primarily as a starter his first six minor league seasons (2011-16) in the Padres chain prior to pitching exclusively from the bullpen in 2017 ... had missed most of 2016 with a right shoulder strain... Named a mid-season Texas League All-Star with Double-A San Antonio in 2015... Selected by San Diego in the ninth round of the 2011 draft out of Lincoln Trail Community College in Robinson, Ill. ... is the highest-drafted player out of Lincoln Trail by round... Signed a letter of intent to play at Indiana State University before signing with the Padres... Graduated from Defiance (Ohio) High School.
Acquired by Chicago on May 8 for outfielder Matt Szczur, Justin combined to go 2-4 with four saves and a 4.46 ERA (19 ER/38.1 IP) in 33 relief appearances between Double-A Tennessee and Triple-A Iowa ... walked 19 and struck out 40, good for an average of 9.4 strikeouts per 9.0 innings pitched... Opened the campaign with Double-A San Antonio, going 0-2 with a 6.23 ERA (9 ER/13.0 IP) in 10 relief outings ... walked seven and struck out 11... All told, was 2-6 with four saves and a 4.91 ERA (28 ER/51.1 IP) in 43 relief appearances between the two organizations... In the Cubs system, held opponents scoreless in 20 of his 33 relief outings between Tennessee and Iowa.
Missed a majority of the season with a right shoulder strain, making two starts for Triple-A El Paso before landing on the team's seven-day disabled list, April 17 ... reinstated following the Triple-A season on September 21.
Combined to go 8-6 with a 3.51 ERA (51 ER/130.2 IP) in 24 starts between Double-A San Antonio and Triple-A El Paso ... named a mid-season Texas League All-Star ... the eight wins tied his career high, also done in 2013... Posted a 1.47 ERA (9 ER/55.0 IP) across nine starts for San Antonio, April 14-May 30 ... was 5-0 in that span while walking 17 and striking out 40... Tossed a season-high 7.0 innings five times, going 4-1 in those outings... Made two August starts for El Paso before he landed on the seven-day D.L. with a right shoulder strain to end his season.
A right forearm strain limited Justin to 13 games (12 starts) with Double-A San Antonio, his first action at that level ... was 3-2 with a 4.12 ERA (27 ER/59.0 IP) ... walked 23 and struck out 41 while he allowed five home runs... Landed on the seven-day disabled list, April 19, after three starts ... pitched 3.0 scoreless innings in two rehab games with the Arizona League Padres before he was reinstated, July 3... Went 2-1 with a 4.00 ERA (20 ER/45.0 IP) in 10 outings (nine starts) following his D.L. stint ... allowed two or fewer earned runs in five of his final six appearances, pitching to a 3.48 ERA (12 ER/31.0 IP) in that stretch... Pitched for Surprise in the Arizona Fall League ... posted a 9.00 ERA (9 ER/9.0 IP) in four games.
Made a career-high 26 starts between Single-A Fort Wayne and Single-A Lake Elsinore ... was 8-8 with a 3.38 ERA (49 ER/130.2 IP), allowed five home runs and 56 walks while he struck out 83... Opened the season with a 5-1 record and a 1.73 ERA (13 ER/67.2 IP) in 12 starts with Fort Wayne ... held opponents to a .222 batting average and a .284 on-base percentage... Promoted to Lake Elsinore, June 20 ... went 2-0 with a 0.56 ERA (1 ER/16.0 IP) in his first three starts before he posted a 1-7 record with a 6.70 ERA (35 ER/47.0 IP) in his final 11 outings beginning July 8.
Pitched for Single-A Fort Wayne and Single-A Eugene ... went 5-6 with a 3.30 ERA (39 ER/106.1 IP) in 28 games (16 starts) ... walked 43 and struck out 89... Closed out the season with a 5-1 record and a 1.05 ERA (7 ER/60.0 IP) in 12 games (11 starts) for Eugene, July 4-August 30 ... held the opponent to a .192 average and a .530 OPS
In his first taste of pro ball, Justin made 11 appearances (eight starts) with the Rookie League Padres.