Chicago Cubs News: Caleb Kilian may be getting the call for rotation need

St Louis Cardinals v Chicago Cubs
St Louis Cardinals v Chicago Cubs / Matt Dirksen/GettyImages

With Jameson Taillon landing on the 15-day IL last Thursday and Javier Assad having since returned to Triple-A Iowa, the Chicago Cubs will be in need of a starting pitcher for their Saturday afternoon game against the Miami Marlins.

It would appear that the Cubs may have tipped their hand as former top pitching prospect Caleb Kilian has not pitched with the Iowa Cubs since April 19.

Kilian made his Major League debut with the Cubs in 2022 and struggled in three starts. Kilian was tagged for 15 runs (13 earned) in 11.1 innings pitched at the Major League level last season in June and his return to Triple-A Iowa saw him struggled with command issues.

The regression that Kilian experienced during the 2022 season was enough for him to fall drastically in MLB Pipeline's ranking of the Cubs minor-league system. Kilian entered the 2023 season as the 17th-ranked prospect in the Cubs' system.

Kilian's 2023 season with the Iowa Cubs is not off to a great start. Kilian has allowed 9 runs in 11.1 innings pitched with the I-Cubs this season and his command issues are still prevalent as he is averaging nearly 4 walks per 9 innings. Kilian's strikeout is also down dramatically this season as he is averaging just under 5 strikeouts per 9 innings--a mark that is the lowest of his professional career.

Chicago Cubs prospect Caleb Kilian may be returning to the Major League level.

It is worth noting, however, that Kilian's first start of the season may be weighing down his numbers as he only allowed 1 run in the two starts since.

Assad made the start for the Cubs last Thursday in place of Taillon but he was the starter in the I-Cubs' Tuesday night game. Kilian is currently on the Cubs' 40-man roster and that may be a leading factor in the Cubs willingness to give him the start on Saturday.

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