As expected, righty Caleb Kilian will be promoted from Triple-A Iowa to start Saturday against the Marlins in Miami. Kilian debuted last season and looked great for a couple innings before control problems plagued him the rest of the game and throughout the remainder of the season. Some of that may have been due to a knee tendinitis issue, though trouble has persisted even after the pain went away.
He worked to clean up his mechanics over the offseason and his delivery was noticeably smoother during the spring, so there’s hope he can dig out of this early hole. Almost all the damage was done in a disastrous first start that saw Kilian allow eight earned runs over just 2.1 innings. He struck out just one batter and gave up nine hits, four of which were home runs.
Kilian has allowed just one run on seven hits in the two starts since, though he’s only struck out five against four walks in nine innings. He’s never been one to get a lot of whiffs and currently sits at the bottom of the organization in that category, so the contact is going to be there. In order to combat that, Kilian really needs to avoid the walks and keep hitters from being able to sit on his fastball.
Top 3, Bottom 3 in the Cubs system when it comes to generating swinging strikes (min. 8 IP)
1. Bailey Horn – 22.3%
2. Yovanny Cabrera – 19.3%
3. Ben Brown – 18.5%
31. Carlos Guzman – 8.3%
32. Joe Nahas – 7.3%
33. Caleb Kilian – 6.6%https://t.co/vXFHc3wVYM
— Greg Huss (@OutOfTheVines) April 26, 2023
This promotion could be part of a series of moves that eventually sees Matt Mervis joining the big club in Miami, something I’ve been piecing together throughout the day with red string. Here’s to hoping Kilian pitches more like he has in his last two starts and we can fire the hype train back up.