The Cubs are planning to promote the promotion opportunity Caleb Killian Director David Ross told reporters (including Jordan Bastian from MLB.com). The right-hander is not on the 40-player list yet, so Chicago will have to formally decide his contract tomorrow. 40 male cubs are full, which means there will be a similar movement coming.
Chicago acquired Killian last summer, adding him along with an outside prospect Alexandre Canario of giants Chris Bryant Minutes before the trade deadline. San Francisco picked Killian in the eighth round of the 2019 draft from Texas Tech, and he raised his stock with a solid showing in the minor leagues. The right-hander has had an excellent 2.43 ERA through 63 innings double a time trade, and has continued to thrive since the change of organizations.
Killian started four games with the Cubs Double-A subsidiary along the stretch, then started the season at Triple-A Iowa. He worked nine starts and throws 39 1/3 rounds, breaking into a 2.06 ERA with solid strike and walk rates (24.8% and 9.1%, respectively). Killian has put two ground players on nearly 60% of the balls hit against him – north of his 43.1% MLB average.
American baseball player Killian recently ranked Killian fifth in the Chicago System, writing that he has improved his raw elements since entering pro football. According to BA, a 6’4 mid-’90s low pitcher works on his fastball and has three average subordinates or better (curve ball, cutter and shift ball). The port credits Killian with excessive control, while FanGraphs wrote This is the offseason It might end up as a plus (70 on a Boy Scout 20-80) at the peak. Both posts indicate that it was likely a long-range jug – perhaps the middle or rear of the swivel arm.
The Cubs would have had to add Killian to their 40-man roster after this season to stop him from drafting in Rule 5, and would have brought him on board a few months earlier. It remains to be seen if the first call will be more than an instant start, with the Cubs and cards set for a double header. Whether it’s immediate or at some point off the line, though, the numbers-retooling team is going to install Killian as a regular rotation member fairly soon.
Even if Killian is in the majors from now on, he won’t reach a full year of service time this season. He will not be eligible for free agency until after the 2028 campaign at the earliest. Killian will be in a strong position to qualify for early refereeing after 2025 as a Super Two player, but optional appointments to return to Iowa State could change that trajectory.
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