3 pitchers who will have expanded roles after Caleb Kilian's injury

The Chicago Cubs received bad news about Caleb Kilian this week, one of their depth starters from the minor leagues

2024 Chicago Cubs Spring Training
2024 Chicago Cubs Spring Training / Matt Dirksen/GettyImages
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2. Hayden Wesneski

Wesneski will get another opportunity to prove himself in 2024, but it may be do-or-die time as far as his role as a starter with the Cubs is concerned. After winning the fifth spot in the starting rotation last year, things went downhill rather quickly. By the end of May, Wesneski had lost his position in the rotation and was optioned to Triple-A.

Wesneski had more success as a reliever but the 26-year-old is no doubt eager to prove himself as a starter again. And he'll get a chance at some point relatively soon. It's extremely unlikely that he will make the opening day starting rotation with Drew Smyly and Jordan Wicks more logical candidates. I wouldn't be surprised if Wesneski begins the season in Triple-A, depending on the bullpen decisions yet to be made by manager Craig Counsell.

But injuries to the starting rotation have to be expected, meaning Wesneski will get his chance sooner or later. He has a lot to prove but hopefully, he has made sufficient adjustments to make his stuff work at the big-league level. If he doesn't pitch well this year, the Cubs will have to consider moving him to the bullpen full-time or packaging him in a trade.