The Cubs have selected the contract of left-hander Ryan Borucki, according to the Chicago Tribune’s Meghan Montemurro. In a corresponding move, right-hander Caleb Kilian has been optioned to Triple-A. The club had an open spot on the 40-man roster following their decision to designate catcher Luis Torrens for assignment, so no 40-man roster move was needed to add Borucki.
Borucki, 29, made his major league debut as a starter with the Blue Jays back in 2018. He pitched to a solid 3.87 ERA in 97 2/3 innings of work across 18 starts. Unfortunately, injuries limited Borucki to just 6 2/3 innings in 2019, leaving him to convert to relief ahead of the 2020 season. Since his move to the bullpen, Borucki has struggled, posting a 4.66 ERA and 5.30 FIP over 65 2/3 innings across the past three seasons. He joined the Cubs on a minor league deal this past offseason, and gives the club a left-handed option out of the bullpen while Brandon Hughes is on the 15-day injured list with left knee inflammation.
Kilian, 26 in June, heads back to Triple-A after a brutal spot start yesterday where he surrendered seven runs on 10 hits, two walks and two hit batsmen in just 3 1/3 innings against the Marlins. Acquired from the Giants alongside Alexander Canario in the deal that sent Kris Bryant to San Francisco, Kilian was considered one of Chicago’s top prospects headed into last season. Things started to unravel for Kilian when he made his big league debut last summer. The right-hander posted a 10.32 ERA across three starts in the majors before heading back to the Triple-A, where he posted a 6.54 ERA in 63 1/3 innings for the remainder of the 2022 campaign.
Things haven’t gone much better for Kilian in 2023, as he had posted a 7.15 ERA in three starts at Triple-A prior to yesterday’s disastrous call up. Kilian was needed yesterday as both Jameson Taillon and Kyle Hendricks are on the shelf, though Taillon threw a bullpen yesterday per Maddie Lee of the Chicago Sun Times and Hendricks is currently rehabbing at Triple-A, leaving room to return Kilian to Triple-A in hopes he can return to his 2021 form.
I’m no expert, but calling up Kilian was a mistake. He’s a talented pitcher but something is way off right now. He’s been very bad in Iowa and got lot up in Miami. Also, Ryan Borucki has also been terrible in Iowa so not sure this is a great move either. Oh boy…
Cannot disagree with you ergo—but I think they are trying to navigate this pretty long stretch without an off day and without Taillon. From the 40 man roster the only other option seemed to be Sampson who has been hurt and even worse thus far.
The Cubs are what they are….need to win as much as possible when Stro and Steele pitch, hope to split the Smyly/Wesneski starts and try to cling in the rotating Taillon slot.
As rough as April was—after finally getting a day off the Cubs go to Minn, Hou, and Philly and get to play Tampa at the end.
Hanging above .500 was nice in April, but let’s see how close they are to that mark a month from now.
I wonder if they should just piece together the last rotation spot with Thompson and Alzolay covering 3 innings each and the bullpen doing the rest
@Jawinks- That could be a possibility, however I think that really will limit their use in the bullpen which then weakens that aspect and might be even more demoralizing for the team.
Yeah the solution clearly is to burn two bullpen arms and then let the bullpen finish off remaining innings.
The guys being promoted certainly haven’t earned it. They won’t contend in 2023. The moves they’ve made make this a bridge season until the kids in the minors get closer to major league ready. Stroman will opt out after this year and Bellinger will be traded at the deadline. Whatever they think their plan is they are still at least two years away, and hopefully a decent manager becomes available by then
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Borucki will be easy to outright when Tallion comes back. If they get a blowout vs the Nationals, maybe he can eat a couple of late innings.
Kilian got called up because he was the only guy on full rest and had enough innings built up. It was literally as simple as that.
Sometimes it blows my mind that people don’t understand that “spot starts” are by happenstance, who’s on the 40 man and is on full rest.
With that said, Ben Brown has been dominate the past two years, I’d like to see what he has at some point this season.
Killian obviously can’t handle the pressure. They need to shorten him up and bring him into the bullpen later this year the same way they eased Steele and Keegan into the bigs.
Something broke in Killian’s brain when was called up last year and struggled. He went back down to Iowa, where he had been dominating, and struggled the rest of ‘22 in AAA.
Killian has continued to struggle to begin ‘23, and calling him up to MLB to get shelled will only further set him back. Poor decision, he’s not at a sink or swim point yet so no need to force the issue. Cubs might as well release him if they’ve given up on him. Guarantee some club can get him back on track.
First put him on waivers and look for a trade or take the $50,000. We have more talent behind these guys.
Kilian being called up was the only decision to make. It was going to be a spot start, nothing more.
Based on your comment, you clearly don’t understand why Kilian was called up and it holds no relevance.
The Cubs needed a guy on that was currently on the 40 man roster who could make a spot start. They weren’t “giving up” on him. They weren’t “sink or swim” time. The call up also didn’t set him back at all, he was getting shelled in AAA so far this year.
Lastly, Kilians lack of success isn’t mental, it’s the fact his fastball doesn’t have any movement. It may run 95 but to a major league hitter, he might as well as put it on a tee. The league is changing, you have to throw breaking pitches for strikes, another aspect Kilian struggles with. Kilian is going to have to adjust, learn a fastball that moves, create some deception and being able to throw a first pitching breaking ball for a strike. Otherwise he has no future.
Kind of ironic with Ross carrying 3 C’s all year Now Gomes gets hit in the back of the head and might have to go to the IL. If Torrens hasn’t been claimed yet maybe he can come back but the 40 man might be kinda weird for awhile, Anybody else they bring up except Amaya would also need a 40 man spot. Killian was just the guy who had the rest to pitch not necessarily the best option. He flies open all the time and loses control now and not sure where that came from. Seems like he overthrows everything now, Just like Wesneski was doing early. I wonder what the deal is with Hughes knee? If he needs to be scoped just do it already. If it’s worse than that just get it done before they trash his arm. The Marlins going 10-0 in one run games is a total fluke and they just happened to get the last 3 against the Cubs. Still I like how it’s going and the Cubs will be better at the end of the year than now. Mervis and Morel will be here by then and the lineup will be better. There are some Minor leaguers that need promotions.
Ryan Borucki is exactly the type of player that is attracted to the Cubs. They offer him a second chance to be corrected and to perform. Bellinger could have gone to any team but he choose the Cubs to correct his hitting flaws. And if April is any indication of his comeback he made a great decision! The Chicago Cubs have become a target of baseball players who are looking for a second chance.