Caleb Kilian injury news raises the stakes even higher for him in 2024

The young right-hander was a long-shot to make the Opening Day roster, but will miss several months after suffering a teres major strain this week.

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
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In desperate need of a strong start to the 2024 season in order to re-establish himself as a quality pitching prospect, Caleb Kilian will instead open the year on the 60-day IL with a teres major strain that's expected to cost him the first half of the year.

According to the Sun-Times, Kilian experienced some pain and discomfort in his Cactus League start this week and imaging revealed the injury - one that comes with several months' recovery time. It's a tough blow for the right-hander, who was a long-shot to crack the Opening Day roster, but really needed to get off on the right foot this year after seeing the shine rub off pretty quickly in the last two years.

Cubs haven't gotten what they'd hoped for from Caleb Kilian

Once a top 5 organizational prospect after coming over in the Kris Bryant trade, Kilian has struggled to regain the consistency and dominance he showed early on in his professional career. At the Triple-A level, he's worked to a 4.40 ERA with a WHIP pushing 1.500 in 227 innings and he has allowed a staggering 23 earned runs in 16 2/3 big league innings.

Kilian has completely faded off the radars of most fans, especially with the emergence of the organization's prized pitching prospect tandem of Ben Brown and Cade Horton. Winding up shelved for half the year does that situation no favors, and if he struggles upon his return, I'd start to wonder about the security of his spot on the 40-man heading into next offseason.

After all, he turns 27 in June and has yet to show the ability to find success not only at the big league level, but really at the upper levels of the minors, as well. Given how crowded the Cubs' 40-man roster picture is, it wouldn't shock me at all if Kilian winds up on the outside looking in by this time next year.

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