Caleb Kilian Optioned to AAA, Mark Leiter Jr. Called Up

Caleb Kilian has been optioned back to Triple-A Iowa, a move that was inevitable even if it doesn’t really make a ton of sense given the organization’s current trajectory. The rookie righty has had a pair of rough starts that were plagued by a mixture of poor control and bad defense, but you’d think the Cubs would let him keep taking his lumps and finding his way at the highest level.

Roster limits on pitchers and the impending return of other starters probably had more to do with his move than Kilian’s performance, though.

In the meantime, Mark Leiter Jr. has been called up again for what is likely to be another short stint. Since he’s worked in relief over his past four MLB appearances, Leiter offers a little more depth to the staff over the next few days. In seven total appearances with the Cubs this season, the 31-year-old righty is 1-1 with a 6.23 ERA and 4.51 FIP. He has struck out 16 and walked nine in 17.1 innings.

Most of the damage came in his 2022 debut, a forgettable start in which he allowed seven earned runs on five hits and four walks.

As frustrating as this all is, it’s what the Cubs are now and what they figure to be for the foreseeable future. They’re going to continue streaming pitchers at the back of the roster like a fantasy baseball team with no weekly innings limits, then it’ll hit overdrive following the trade deadline. But hey, Jed Hoyer says the money will be there when it’s time to get aggressive.

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