Cubs Roster Moves: Kilian Out, Leader In

Well, the Chicago Cubs and Caleb Kilian must know that whatever he needs to work on to clean up the wildness that has plagued his last two starts – and they must know that he can start to sort it out at Triple-A Iowa.

Today the Cubs optioned Kilian back to Iowa and called up righty Mark Leiter Jr. to take his spot on the active roster (Mooney). What this means for the rotation is probably TBD. I’d expect Kilian to get another start or two while all of Marcus Stroman, Wade Miley, and Drew Smyly are out, but it’s possible the Cubs will instead turn to Alec Mills (who pitched – unsuccessfully – in bulk behind Kilian last night) , or perhaps Leiter. It could depend on how the rest of this week sorts out.

I wrote at length earlier today about Kilian’s extreme wildness, and I’m hopefully he and the Cubs can really figure out what’s up. This kind of up-down development process is fairly normal for starting pitching prospects, but I think it’s reasonable to be concerned about the particular issue that showed itself, and the degree to which it showed. It’s really just two outings with this kind of wildness, though, so I’m trying not to put too much weight on them evincing some permanent problem. It’s likely a combination of things, many of which can indeed be worked on.

As for Leiter, he has shown some positive things when sent out in short-inning duty, but longer outings / more exposure have been a real issue. He has more or less settled into an up-down-bulk-innings-guy role with the Cubs this year.

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