Caleb Kilian, acquired from the Giants (along with Alexander Canario) for Kris Bryant at the 2021 trade deadline, made his MLB debut with some fanfare June 4, 2022 against the Cardinals. He threw five innings and allowed three runs, striking out six, a pretty good first appearance.
Starts two and three were... well, not as good, and Kilian returned to Triple-A Iowa with an ERA north of 10.
This year, Kilian’s overall numbers at Iowa (three starts, 7.15 ERA in 11⅓ innings) don’t look great, but those are skewed by one horrific start. In his last two outings Kilian has allowed just one run in nine innings.
He’s being called up to start tonight’s game against the Marlins, having last pitched 10 days ago. To make room on the 26-man active roster, Brandon Hughes has been placed on the 15-day injured list (retroactive to Thursday) with left knee inflammation. Hughes also had some knee issues that delayed the start to his 2023 season.
For now, that leaves the Cubs bullpen without a lefthanded reliever, though Mark Leiter Jr. has been used, with some success, against certain lefthanded hitters. Since the Cubs have an open spot on the 40-man roster, it seems possible that after Kilian’s start, he could be returned to Iowa (since Jameson Taillon could return next week to take that rotation spot back) and a lefthanded reliever added. As always, we await developments.
In the meantime, here’s hoping for good things for Kilian tonight. Today’s game preview will post at 1 p.m. CT.