Cubs call up left-hander Ryan Borucki, option right-hander Caleb Kilian before series finale vs. Marlins

The Cubs signed Borucki to a minor-league contract with an invitation to major-league spring training during the offseason.

SHARE Cubs call up left-hander Ryan Borucki, option right-hander Caleb Kilian before series finale vs. Marlins
Cubs left-hander Ryan Borucki posted a 3.52 ERA in spring training.

Cubs left-hander Ryan Borucki posted a 3.52 ERA in spring training.

John Antonoff / for the Sun-Times

MIAMI — The Cubs called up Ryan Borucki from Triple-A Iowa on Sunday, giving them a left-hander in the bullpen before their series finale against the Marlins. In a corresponding move, they optioned right-hander Caleb Kilian to Triple-A after his spot start the day before.

The Cubs signed Borucki to a minor-league contract with an invitation to major-league spring training during the offseason. He posted a 3.52 ERA in the spring and was competing for an Opening Day roster spot.

‘‘The 26 men that start on the opening roster are not the only 26 men that are going to help that team win,’’ Borucki told the Sun-Times this spring. ‘‘And you see it everywhere. So I’m not trying to put too much pressure on myself.’’

He did, however, say he thinks he’s a big-league pitcher and hoped the Cubs saw him that way, too.

After a 40-man roster crunch at the beginning of the season, the Cubs created a spot by designating catcher Luis Torrens for assignment when center fielder Cody Bellinger returned from the paternity list Friday.

Borucki, a native of Highland Park, began his career with the Blue Jays. He converted from a starter to a reliever during the shortened 2020 season, his best year. He has a career 4.66 ERA out of the bullpen. The Blue Jays traded him to the Mariners midway through the 2022 season.

The Cubs went from one left-handed reliever on the active roster to none when they put Brandon Hughes on the 15-day injured list Saturday with recurring inflammation in his left knee.

‘‘It’s been a seven- or eight-year process,’’ said Hughes, who had surgery to repair the meniscus in the knee in 2015. ‘‘In the past, I’ve been able to just handle it and keep pitching. And [now] it feels like it’s taking me out of who I am as a pitcher. And that’s why we’re seeing the ILs and things like that.’’

Pitching coach Tommy Hottovy said the Cubs are hoping Hughes’ IL stint will be about the minimum 15 days.

‘‘He could throw a couple of bullpens and be ready to be back up and running again,’’ Hottovy said. ‘‘But we’ll have to see. It’s still early. Just make sure we see how it calms down.’’

The key will be finding a daily maintenance routine to keep the swelling down and keep Hughes on the mound. He said the swelling also has affected his strength in the area, which he’ll focus on building back up.

CUBS AT NATIONALS

Monday: Drew Smyly (2-1, 3.21 ERA) vs. Mackenzie Gore (3-1, 3.00), 6:05 p.m., Marquee, 670-AM.

Tuesday: Hayden Wesneski (2-1, 5.24) vs. Trevor Williams (1-1, 4.10), 6:05 p.m., Marquee, 670-AM.

Wednesday: Marcus Stroman (2-2, 2.29) vs. TBD, 6:05 p.m., Marquee, 670-AM.

Thursday: TBD vs. Patrick Corbin (1-3, 5.88), 12:05 p.m., Marquee, 670-AM.

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