Cubs rookie Caleb Kilian again battles command in loss to Pirates

Cubs starter Caleb Kilian delivers a pitch during the first inning of the Cubs’ loss to the Pirates on Monday at PNC Park.

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PITTSBURGH – Cubs right-hander Caleb Kilian stood on the top step of the visitors’ dugout at PNC Park on Monday afternoon, staring out over the freshly damp field. He’d found a quiet moment between pregame rain showers and his first road start in the major leagues.

Kilian’s time in the majors came sooner than the Cubs planned, sparked by a rash of injuries to the rotation. So, his continued development has moved to a bigger stage, and it’s already come with its rough patches.

In the Cubs’ 12-1 loss to the Pirates on Monday, Ross pulled Kilian one out into the third inning. The rookie had given up seven runs, five earned. And for the second straight outing, he’d issued five walks. 

“We’ve got to give this kid a little bit of runway before we start changing too many things,” Cubs manager David Ross said before the game. 

He referenced Kilian’s debut, against the Cardinals early this month, when he retired the first nine batters he faced. Ross compared that to Kilian’s second start, when he struggled to find a feel for his secondary pitches and threw mostly fastballs. 

“Last one, not so clean and lack of command, which is not who he’s been,” Ross said Monday afternoon. “So, you’ve got to try to throw that outlier out and get back to work. We’ll see today, and the more information we gather at this level and what he looks like, then we’ll be able to assess and continue to work …read more

Source:: Chicago Sun Times

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