Caleb Kilian Gets in His Work in a Game That Got Cancelled
Last night’s game already didn’t “count” because it was a Spring Training game. Then the rains came and cancelled things after four innings, so I guess it REEEEAAAALLLY didn’t count.
Ah, but we got to watch Caleb Kilian for three innings, so that at least made for useful observation of the oft-forgotten Cubs pitching prospect. And we saw him make what might wind up the best catch of the spring.
On the whole, I thought it was a solid appearance, even if not as eye-popping as his spring debut. Kilian allowed a run on three hits and two walks, striking out two.
The fastball continued to look live (no radar readings yet, but I expect it was in his typically wide 93-97 mph range), and he dropped in some nice curveballs. The slider definitely still looks like a work in progress, and he didn’t throw any changeups that I saw. The cutter has always been a huge pitch for him and I don’t know that I saw many or any of those either (though sometimes they bleed together visually with the slider).
Kilian got hit hard by Jonathan India and Joey Votto both times he faced them, and both times they jumped very early in the count on fastballs in the zone. Not sure it tells us much in spring, but those two big league regulars were ready to swing with authority. Otherwise, not a lot of hard contact.
Kilian did walk a couple and had several deep counts, but we would call them “competitive misses.” Often he was just barely missing the zone, and two of his 3-2 walks came on really borderline pitches at the knees. I don’t think you would have left watching that outing thinking he’s ready to be back in the big leagues, but you would also retain optimism that he can get back on track this year at Triple-A Iowa.
Here’s Kilian talking about his appearance, with specific mentions of two mechanical tweaks he’s made this offseason, of the changeup he’s been developing, and how the slider still needs work: