Projecting next year’s Chicago Cubs starting rotation
By Luke Parrish
Caleb Killian will emerge as a stud as the top Cubs pitching prospect
The Cubs gave Caleb Kilian a chance to showcase his stuff during a doubleheader against the Cardinals and he did not disappoint. He struck out six over five innings, allowing just three earned runs to one of the best offenses in the league.
At Triple-A Iowa, Kilian has tossed 43 innings with a 2.51 ERA and 47 strikeouts as he has yet to take a loss. The key prospect in the Kris Bryant trade should stake his name in the Cubs’ starting rotation next season and lock himself into that spot for the foreseeable future.
Chicago desperately needs to get another young arm in the mix that can shut down opposing offenses and keep the run tally low. Kilian has been able to do just that in the minor leagues and projects as a very reliable starter for the Cubs in the near future.
It would make far more sense for the team to thrust Kilian into the rotation to open the season than to keep trotting out veterans who have nothing left to give. Drew Smyly and Alec Mills should not be in contention for a starting spot next year and Wade Miley, despite having some good outings, would not be my top choice either should the Cubs look at bringing him back.
In order to get better, the Cubs have to try something new. Kilian is that ‘new’ the club desperately needs and he could completely revitalize the pitching unit for a team that needs it in the worst way.