Cubs send Kilian back to Iowa after another tough outing

                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  • Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Caleb Kilian, center, hands the ball to manager David Ross during a pitching change in the third inning Monday against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Kilian was sent back down to Iowa on Tuesday.

    Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Caleb Kilian, center, hands the ball to manager David Ross during a pitching change in the third inning Monday against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Kilian was sent back down to Iowa on Tuesday. Associated Press

 
 
Updated 6/21/2022 7:28 PM

The Cubs sent pitcher Caleb Kilian back to Iowa on Tuesday and he'll probably stay there a while.

Kilian's third major-league start was a rough one. He was pulled during the third inning after walking five, allowing 3 hits and 5 earned runs. A couple of errors didn't help the cause, but Kilian started out missing the strike zone by a few inches, then occassionally by a few feet.

 

After the game, the right-hander admitted he might have had too much on his mind, trying to think about mechanical adjustments while the game was turning sour.

"It's super-frustrating because I feel like I'm digging myself in a hole with walking people, getting behind in counts,'" Kilian said. "I feel like it's not far off; I feel like it's close. Once it clicks, it'll be a lot better.

"I try not to get overwhelmed out there. Also trying to think about different things I was thinking about this week, like mechanic-wise, which I probably shouldn't have been doing and the things just got out of hand."

Kilian's big-league debut against St. Louis on June 4 went fairly well, but he'll head back to Iowa with a 10.32 ERA in three starts. Cubs manager David Ross said he wants Kilian to work on being aggressive instead of nibbling around the strike zone.

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"I think you've just got to trust it," Kilian said. "Trust the process, continue to do these things. I think in the long run it'll pay off. It'll get better. But there's a lot going on in my head, a lot I'm working on. So maybe that's part of it."

The Cubs brought up Mark Leiter Jr. to fill the roster spot. They'll likely need a fifth starter this weekend in St. Louis, so it remains to be seen if that will be Leiter or Alec Mills or maybe Adrian Sampson will get another chance.

Cubs notes:

The first all-star voting results were released Tuesday and not surprisingly, Willson Contreras has a big lead at the catcher spot, ahead of second-place Travis d'Arnaud from Atlanta. ... The Cubs said Marcus Stroman (right shoulder inflammation) will throw a bullpen session Wednesday. ... Pitcher Adbert Alzolay will being a throwing program in Arizona. He's been sidelined since spring training by shoulder soreness and elbow tightness.

• Twitter: @McGrawDHSports

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