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Kilian to Remain in Cubs' Rotation Despite Rough Start Wednesday

Per Cubs' pitching coach Tom Hottavy, Caleb Kilian will get another look in the rotation despite struggling against the Padres on Wednesday night.
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Caleb Kilian Cubs

Photo: Cubs/Twitter

After the Chicago Cubs were blown out by the San Diego Padres, there was much to be desired for the Cubbies. Caleb Kilian made his second start in the majors and struggled in comparison to his first time out. However, according to pitching coach Tom Hottavy on Thursday morning, Kilian will get another turn in the rotation despite the rough start on Wednesday. Hottavy confirmed the news on 670 The Score.

As indicated in the tweet, Kilian struggled against the Padres. His 4.0 innings pitched were plagued by five hits, five earned runs, and five walks without a single strikeout. However, given his prospect status within the organization, the team knows growing pains are a part of the process.

Keeping Kilian in the rotation is the right move for multiple reasons. For starters, the Cubs are bad and allowing him to grow in the majors without pressure to succeed is a good thing. He can fine-tune his craft and become a better pitcher as the season persists. In addition, he has already shown dominance at the Triple-A level, so leaving him there isn't necessarily helping him either.

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The real reason this move makes sense is all the injuries. The Cubs' pitching staff is beat up more than it has been all season. Marcus Stroman is on the IL, Wade Miley is still dealing with health issues, and Drew Smyly is out for the foreseeable future. Only Kyle Hendricks and Justin Steele have offered availability all season long. Now, letting Kilian have a look checks multiple boxes for both the player and team.

What to Expect?

The expectation for Caleb Kilian should be growth. If the young righty progresses in each start and shows continued promise, then that's all that can be asked. The Cubs are certainly not going anywhere this season after losing nine straight games, so giving Kilian the chance to struggle and grow is the right move in this climate. If the Cubs were competitive, it may be a different story. However, competing with the Reds for the NL Central basement gives Kilian a stage to grow on without pressure.

What's On Tap Next?

The Cubs and Padres conclude their four-game series on Thursday afternoon. First pitch is scheduled for 1:20 p.m. CDT and will feature Matt Swarmer and Joe Musgrove as the pitching matchup for the Cubs and Padres, respectively.