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Cubs call up top pitching prospect Caleb Kilian to make debut

Jun 17, 2019; Omaha, NE, USA; Texas Tech Red Raiders pitcher Caleb Kilian (32) throws in the first inning against the Arkansas Razorbacks in the 2019 College World Series at TD Ameritrade Park . Mandatory Credit: Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Cubs called up top pitching prospect Caleb Kilian, and the right-hander will take the mound in the second game of Saturday’s doubleheader against the St. Louis Cardinals.

The Cubs also optioned right-hander Mark Leiter Jr. to Triple-A Iowa, while left-hander Conner Menez was designated for assignment. Chicago also added right-hander Anderson Espinoza as the 27th man for the doubleheader.

Kilian, who turned 25 on Thursday, was acquired from the San Francisco Giants last summer as part of the Kris Bryant trade. He will be making his major league debut after going 2-0 with a 2.06 ERA in nine Triple-A starts this season.

“He’s a hard worker with good makeup,” Cubs manager David Ross said. “He’s got a real chance to be a big-league starter. I know he wants to grow, wants to learn. There’s a good energy about him.”

Leiter, 31, was 1-1 with a 6.23 ERA in seven appearances (three starts) for the Cubs. Menez, 27, threw just one inning this season and has a 2-1 record with a 3.95 ERA in 24 appearances (four starts) with the Cubs and San Francisco Giants over the past four seasons.

Espinoza, 24, made his major league debut with the Cubs on May 30 when he gave up two runs over four innings against the Milwaukee Brewers. He took the loss in a 3-1 game.

–Field Level Media