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Caleb Kilian Shines for Iowa Cubs in 8-2 Win

Cubs No. 4 prospect Caleb Kilian shined on the mound in the Iowa Cubs’ 8-2 win on Thursday. He went 5.2 innings and struck out 8 batters.

Caleb Kilian Cubs
Photo: IowaCubs/Twitter

Entering Thursday, it’s no secret that Chicago Cubs fans want to see No. 4 prospect Caleb Kilian in the majors soon. After Thursday’s performance, those vocals are only going to get louder from the proverbial peanut gallery.

Kilian posted multiple season highs in Thursday’s win. After allowing only one free pass, Kilian struck out eight batters and while allowing six hits. However, the two runs scored in the sixth were due to an error and not charged as earned to Kilian.

What made Kilian’s outing on Thursday more impressive was his pitch mix and raw stuff. Kilian routinely worked his high-90s fastball in with a nice low-90s cutter and dirty 12-6 curveball that sits around 79 mph. One by one, Kilian made the Columbus Clippers hitters look silly with his stuff. That said, that stuff played because of speed differences as high as 17 mph between pitches.

Kilian profiles as a prototypical starter in the majors. He’s big, throws four pitches with command, and has electrifying stuff with all four of his pitches. Although his distance into games hasn’t been terribly high this season, it appears that is just the approach the Iowa Cubs are taking. Per Alex Cohen on the broadcast today, 5.2 innings tied the longest start for any Cubs pitcher at Triple-A this season. That said, Kilian’s efforts were still incredible for the I-Cubs.

What’s On Tap Next?

For Kilian, the natural next step will be to the majors at some point. However, its quite uncertain when that jump will occur. There are two doubleheaders coming up on the Cubs schedule (May 30, June 4) that present opportunities for a spot start, but with Alec Mills set to return in the near future the need for Kilian isn’t necessarily there. In May, the Cubs’ rotation has dramatically turned it around compared to their efforts in April, so the need for reinforcements in the form of Kilian have lessened just a bit.

However, an outside chance of Kilian’s debut still exists on one of those days. Although likely after the trade deadline if one of the current arms departs, Kilian’s debut will be a highly anticipated first appearance for Cubs fans everywhere.

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Work as an accountant by day. Huge Chicago sports fan. Played college football and only wish I could skate well enough to play hockey. Twitter: @rnldluce Instagram: @rnldluce

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