Killian will get his MLB debut on Saturday night (Photo via Iowa Cubs)
Killian will get his MLB debut on Saturday night (Photo via Iowa Cubs)

Cubs make several roster moves


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CHICAGO – The Chicago Cubs today selected right-handed pitcher Caleb Kilian from Triple-A Iowa and optioned right-handed pitcher Mark Leiter Jr. to Iowa. Additionally, right-handed pitcher Anderson Espinoza has been added as the “27th man” for today’s doubleheader against the St. Louis Cardinals at Wrigley Field.

To make room on the 40-man roster for Kilian, left-handed pitcher Conner Menez has been designated for assignment.

Kilian (uniform No. 45) looks to make his major league debut in tonight’s game two at 6:15 p.m. CT.

Kilian, 25, is 2-0 with a 2.06 ERA (9 ER/39.1 IP) in nine starts for Triple-A Iowa this season. The right-handed pitcher has struck out 41, compared to 15 walks, good for a 1.27 WHIP. He allowed two-or-fewer runs in eight-straight starts to begin the campaign.

The six-foot, four-inch Kilian was acquired by the Cubs from the San Francisco Giants with outfielder Alexander Canario for infielder Kris Bryant, July 30, 2021. Kilian pitched for Mesa in the Arizona Fall League following the season, tossing 6.0 perfect innings in the AFL Championship game.

In parts of three professional seasons, Kilian is 9-4 with a 2.08 ERA (36 ER/155.2 IP), 170 strikeouts and a 0.94 WHIP in 35 career minor league games (34 starts). He began his professional career by not allowing an earned run in 16.0 innings in 2019. The righthander was rated as the Cubs’ No. 5 prospect entering the 2022 season by MLB Pipeline.

An Anaheim, Calif. native, Kilian was selected by the Giants in the eighth round of the 2019 First-Year Player Draft after pitching three seasons for Texas Tech University.

Espinoza, 24, made his major league debut on Monday with Chicago in the nightcap of a doubleheader against the Brewers, allowing two earned runs in 4.0 innings out of the bullpen. He has made eight starts with Double-A Tennessee this season, going 0-4 with a 7.31 ERA (23 ER/28.1 IP).

The six-foot Espinoza has posted a career 3.98 ERA (112 ER/253.0 IP) in 68 minor league games (67 starts) in the Red Sox (2015-16), Padres (2016-21) and Cubs (2021-22) organizations. He was acquired from the Padres, July 30, 2021 for OF Jake Marisnick.

Leiter Jr., 31, is 1-1 with a 6.23 ERA (12 ER/17.1 IP) in seven games, three starts, for the Cubs this season.

Menez, 27, is 1-0 with a 2.08 ERA (4 ER/17.1 IP) in eight outings for Iowa this season while also appearing in one game for the Cubs.

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