Latest Chicago Cubs injury has Craig Counsell concerned

The Chicago Cubs' pitching prospect may be sidelined for some time.

Chicago Cubs v Kansas City Royals
Chicago Cubs v Kansas City Royals / Aaron Doster/GettyImages

Caleb Kilian has been on the outskirts of the competition for the fifth spot in the Chicago Cubs starting rotation this Spring.

Kilian has impressed during his Spring Training outings, but that quickly shifted to concern after the former top pitching prospect was removed from Wednesday's game against the Kansas City Royals in the third inning.

Kilian had pitched two scoreless innings to begin the game but was removed after giving up a leadoff hit against Royals' center fielder Drew Waters in the third inning.

The update provided by Cubs manager Craig Counsell on Wednesday did not sound encouraging.

Concerning is never a word that should be associated with pitching injury during Spring Training. Across Major League Baseball, Lucas Giolito and Sonny Gray are among pitchers who have experienced some form of discomfort in the past week. Giolito is expected to miss most of the 2024 season with the Boston Red Sox while Gray likely won't be ready by Opening Day.

The timing could not be worse for Kilian, who was showing signs of once again being the pitcher that was at the top of the Cubs' prospect rankings only two seasons ago.

Chicago Cubs pitching prospect Caleb Kilian may be dealing with a significant injury.

While a spot in the Major League rotation to open the season likely was not an option for Kilian, he could have been used as a potential sixth starter throughout the season. 2024 figured to be an important season for Kilian as he looked to establish himself at the Major League level but those plans may now be altered with the injury.

Separate from Kilian, the update on left fielder Ian Happ is encouraging. Happ wasn't expected to miss Opening Day with the hamstring injury he suffered last week and a return to batting practice should spare fans from having to watch Miles Mastrobuoni in the outfield for a second consecutive Opening Day.

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