#MiLB: Caleb Kilian Called Up, Rincones Departs For Olympics Dream

EUGENE – It was yesterday that we mentioned his hot start would catch attention of the higher ups, but no sooner than the words went out into the universe, the baseball gods made it happen.

Two-time High-A West Pitcher of the Week and destroyer of High-A hitters’ dreams RHP Caleb Kilian (3-0, 1.25 ERA) has been called up to from the Eugene Emeralds to join the Richmond Flying Squirrels in Double-A.

Kilian is the second promotion from Eugene to Richmond in as many days, joining RHP Jose Marte who left Eugene tied for the league lead in saves (3). But he wasn’t alone today as in a 24-hour span that has seen three other Emeralds called up to either Double-A or Triple-A, Emeralds outfielder Diego Rincones has received a call-up of a higher calling.

Rincones has been tabbed to join the Venezuelan National Team as they prepare for the upcoming Olympic Qualifying Tournament which begins in mid-June in Florida.

An 8th round pick in out of Texas Tech in 2019, Kilian exits the Emerald Valley as the High-A West’s leader in wins (3), strikeouts (32), opponent’s average (.122), and WHIP (0.46) while his 1.25 ERA ranks third.

Kilian is fresh off one of Minor League Baseball’s most impressive starts so far this season, carrying a perfect game through 6.2 innings on Saturday vs. Tri-City and ultimately ending with a 7.0 inning performance that saw him allow one hit and no walks while tallying ten strikeouts.

The near-perfect outing made Kilian an easy call to nab his second High-A West Pitcher of the Week honor of the year after earning the same honor after the season’s first week (May 4-9).

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Rincones will depart the Northwest as one of the High-A West’s premier sluggers through three weeks of the season. Currently, Rincones is second in the league in slugging (.630), second in OPS (1.042), tied for third in batting average (.333), tied for third in homers (4), and tied for fifth in on-base percentage (.413).

Venezuela is currently positioned in Group B of the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WSBC) Qualifier being held in Florida. Group B includes #8 Cuba, #9 Venezuela, #13 Canada and #15 Colombia, while Group A will include #2 USA, #10 Dominican Republic, #11 Puerto Rico, and #15 Nicaragua.

Per OlymbicBaseball.WSBC.org, the format will include, “eight nations competing over sixteen games for a place in the six-team Tokyo Olympic Baseball event. After group play concludes, the top two finishers from each group will advance to the Super Round, where they will each play two games. Head-to-head contests among these teams from the opening round will carry over into the Super Round standings.”

The team that posts the best Super Round record will be declared the winner and become the fifth National Team to advance to the Tokyo Olympic baseball tournament, joining world #1 Japan, #3 Korea, #5 Mexico and #18 Israel. The second-place and third-place teams will quality for the WBSC Baseball Final Qualifier.

Back here in the MiLB in the USA, the first place Eugene Emeralds (12-6) kick off a six-game homestand against the Spokane ball club (6-12) starting tonight at 7:35 p.m. at PK Park.

The Emeralds and Spokane ball club faced off in a six-game series in Spokane to start the season with the Emeralds taking five-of-six games. Fifth-ranked San Francisco Giants prospect LHP Seth Corry is slated to start game one of the series. Tickets are available at www.EmeraldsBaseball.com.