CHICAGO – The Chicago Cubs last night placed Justin Steele on the 15-day injured list (retroactive to September 2) with a low back strain and selected right-handed pitcher Hayden Wesneski from Triple-A Iowa. To make room on the 40-man roster for Wesneski, right-handed pitcher Kervin Castro has been designated for assignment.
Wesneski, 24, was acquired from the New York Yankees August 1 for right-handed pitcher Scott Effross. In last three games with Iowa starting August 19, Wesneski has allowed one earned run in 15.0 innings (0.60 ERA), surrendering four hits and five walks with 15 strikeouts. Opponents have hit .087 (4-for-46) with a .130 slugging mark and a .208 on-base percentage.
In 24 games (23 starts) between Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and Iowa this season, Wesneski has posted a 3.92 ERA (48 ER/110.1 IP) with a 6-9 record, 36 walks and 106 strikeouts while holding opponents to a .227 batting average, a .295 on-base percentage and a .365 slugging mark.
The six-foot, three-inch Wesneski was named a MiLB.com Organizational All-Star in 2021 as he went 11-6 with a 3.25 ERA (47 ER/130.1 IP) in 25 games (24 starts) across three levels, beginning with seven starts at High-A Hudson Valley followed by 15 starts at Double-A Somerset and three games (two starts) in his first career action at the Triple-A level. Between the three clubs, Wesneski walked 36 and struck out 151 batters, good for an average of 10.4 strikeouts per 9.0 innings. Following the 2021 campaign, he was ranked the Yankees sixth-best prospect by Baseball America.
Selected by the Yankees in the sixth round of the 2019 draft out of Sam Houston State, Wesneski was named the Double-A Northeast Pitcher of the Month for September of 2021, going 3-0 with a 1.35 ERA (3 ER/20.0 IP) for Somerset.
Steele, 27, is 4-7 with a 3.18 ERA (42 ER/119.0 IP) in 24 starts for Chicago this season, including a 1.49 ERA (9 ER/54.1 IP) in 10 starts since June 29.
Castro, 23, was claimed off waivers from the San Francisco Giants August 2. He has appeared in eight games for Chicago, pitching to a 7.59 ERA (9 ER/10.2 IP).