Cubs place ’23 All-Star pitcher Steele on IL

ARLINGTON, Texas — The Chicago Cubs placed left-hander Justin Steele on the 15-day injured list with a left hamstring strain Saturday after their Opening Day starter was injured fielding a bunt against the Texas Rangers.

The Cubs recalled right-hander Ben Brown, 24, from Triple-A Iowa, with Brown in line to make his major league debut after getting two starts among five appearances in spring training.

Steele had six strikeouts when he exited with two outs in the fifth inning of the defending World Series champion Rangers’ 4-3 victory in 10 innings in the opener Thursday. The teams were off Friday.

A first-time All-Star last season, Steele came off the mound to field Leody Taveras‘ sacrifice bunt when he lunged and fell awkwardly. He went down in foul territory, grabbing the area of his left hamstring. Steele left his first Opening Day start after a brief visit from an athletic trainer.

Steele, 28, was 16-5 with a 3.06 ERA in 30 starts last season, when he finished fifth in the NL Cy Young Award voting.

Brown was 6-8 with a 5.33 ERA in 22 games, including 15 starts, for Triple-A Iowa last season. A 33rd-round draft pick by Philadelphia in 2017, Brown was acquired in a 2022 trade that sent reliever David Robertson to the Phillies.

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