Should the Chicago Cubs call up prospect Caleb Kilian? We take a look at the scenario they are facing
It is no secret that one of the Chicago Cubs struggles in years past has been developing pitching through their minor league systems. This looks to be changing and turning a corner with guys like Justin Steele, Keegan Thompson, and more that will be arriving in the near future. Enough credit is not given to pitching coach Tommy Hottovy, and other coaches behind the scenes on the pitching side in recent years.
Another guy that should be joining the Cubs at the major league level along with Steele, and Thompson soon is pitching prospect Caleb Kilian. T
he right handed pitching prospect in Kilian came over as one of the two players from the San Francisco Giants in the Kris Bryant trade last July, The other prospect that came with Kilian is outfielder Alexander Canario who has also done very well in the Cubs organization. Canario has recently been promoted to double-A level in Tennessee.
Caleb Kilian has multiple pitches to make him dangerous
Kilian has been very dominant so far at the triple-A level for the Iowa Cubs. In 8 games in 2022 he has a 2-0 record with a 1.31 ERA. Kilian’s 1.31 ERA is the league best after his latest start on Thursday. Kilian’s stat line from Thursday was 5.2 IP, 6H, 0 ER, 8 strikeouts, and only one walk.
Against Columbus on Thursday Kilian threw 80 pitches which is the most thrown this season. It is good to see him going deeper into games and stretching out his arm. The Cubs would like to see him go deeper than 5.2 innings, but throwing only 80 pitches in 5.2 innings when you have 8 strikeouts in the game is not bad either. Kilian’s league leading ERA so far is not the only impressive stat for him either. He has 40 strikeouts compared to only 13 walks.
caleb kilian is going to be a problem pic.twitter.com/kRl09Qacy1
— DOM (@DOM_Frederic) May 19, 2022
Kilian’s command out there on the mound is very easy to see when you are able to strike out guys at a high rate, while limiting walks for the opposition. A lot of his command has to do with his control with the repertoire of pitches in his arsenal. His fastball sits in the upper-90’s, nasty cutter that sits in the low-90’s, and also a 12-6 curve ball that just falls off the table to the opposing hitters. Kilian’s different pitches really allows him to keep the batters off balance.
Cubs front office is keeping close eye on Kilian
If you are a Cubs fan you definitely are very excited about Kilian arriving on the north side of Chicago in the near future. The Cubs front office is aware and keeping an eye on their prized pitching prospect as well. Cubs President Jed Hoyer came out and talked in front of reporters on Thursday and had this to say about Kilian in the tweet below.
Jed Hoyer on Caleb Kilian: "He's been getting better and better with each start. And we're really excited about him. I can't speak to timetables, but we’re well aware of the success he’s having."
— Maddie Lee (@maddie_m_lee) May 19, 2022
The Cubs do have a few doubleheaders coming up in the next few weeks against the Milwaukee Brewers, and the St. Louis Cardinals. With the extra man that is added for doubleheaders do not be surprised if in one of those games that Kilian is called up to make his major league debut. Both of those series are at home, so it would be very cool to see him make his debut at Wrigley Field. If Kilian were to be called up it would be well deserved with the numbers he is putting up in the minors to date.
With the Cubs sitting at 16-24 after Sunday’s win over the Arizona Diamondbacks it looks to be another year of selling at the deadline like in 2021. Being sellers is not fun, but at the same time the future is bright with guys like Kilian and others joining the Cubs soon at the big league level.
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