Chicago Cubs pitching prospect Ben Brown shines in Triple-A debut

Feb 23, 2023; Mesa, AZ, USA; Chicago Cubs relief pitcher Ben Brown (86) poses for images during
Feb 23, 2023; Mesa, AZ, USA; Chicago Cubs relief pitcher Ben Brown (86) poses for images during / Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

Chicago Cubs pitching prospect Ben Brown may be on the fast track to the Major League level and that was the motivating factor behind the team's decision to promote Brown to Triple-A Iowa this week.

Brown made his Triple-A debut on Thursday with the Iowa Cubs and was excellent.

Brown was acquired by the Cubs at the Major League Baseball trade deadline last season when the team moved closer David Robertson to the Philadelphia Phillies. Brown was off to an electric start with Double-A Tennessee this season and the move to Triple-A makes it rather likely that he could make his Major League debut by the end of the season.

Cubs general manager Carter Hawkins spoke with Meghan Montemurro of the Chicago Tribune and highlighted what the team is looking for with Brown moving to Triple-A.

"“We’re candidly trying to figure out the effect of the baseballs in Double A and how much that plays into the form of some guys,” Hawkins said. “He’s done really well, regardless, but getting him back to the old baseballs at Triple A and getting back his comfort level there will be helpful to really have a better sense of how close he is to the big leagues.”"

Carter Hawkins via Chicago Tribune

For reference, Double-A is experimenting with a different type of baseball this season which features an enhanced grip for pitchers.

Cubs' pitching coach Tommy Hottovy spoke about the importance of getting data from Brown with the Iowa Cubs in regard to determining if he can be a part of the team's pitching staff this season.

"“If guys are going to be part of our depth piece and part of the guys that we feel like can help us, we need to make sure that they’re in Triple A using balls that they’re going to be using here and not trying to jump back and forth between Double A and here,” Hottovy said."

Tommy Hottovy via Chicago Tribune

The emergence of Brown this season may have added importance after the continued regression of pitching prospect Caleb Kilian. It would appear that Kiian's future projection may be as a middle reliever while Brown is trending toward being an important piece to the team's long-term starting rotation.

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