Updates on Edwards and Tseng, Minor Signings and Cubs News from Down on the Farm

Jaron Madison, Cubs Farm Director, provided an update Thursday on C.J. Edwards. Madison said Edwards has begun a throwing program at the Cubs complex in Mesa and the Cubs are “shooting for around the All-Star break” for him to return.

According to a report from Comcast SportsNet, Edwards probably could have pitched through the fatigue and inflammation in his shoulder and Madison pointed out that he wanted to. The Cubs decided to shut him down, build him up slowly and make sure he was ready for the second half.

The report explained, “The Cubs haven’t decided if Edwards should be eased back in a bullpen role.” Madison said, for now, the plan is for Edwards to return in a starting role and “because he missed so many innings, it might be better to keep him regimented” as a starter.

Jen-Ho Tseng

Kane County placed RHP Jen-Ho Tseng on the disabled list on Monday with an upper extremity injury. Cougars’ manager Mark Johnson addressed his injury on Thursday.

Tseng has “a sore right shoulder” and said it was nothing serious. According to a report from Kevin Druley, the plan with Tseng is to be “really careful” and take their “time with it.” A timeframe for a possible return was not given.

The 19-year old right hander is 3-0 in six starts with the Cougars this season with a 2.81 ERA and a 1.31 WHIP. Tseng allowed 37 hits with five walks and 32 strikeouts in 32 innings.

Kris Bryant

Kris Bryant is hitting the baseball at the Double-A level (.335/.431/.623/1.054 with 12 doubles and 12 home runs) and either leads the Southern League or is among the league leaders in many of the offensive categories.

The Sun-Times reported, Bryant is “staying put” and not only will he not be promoted to majors anytime soon, he might not be “at AAA Iowa anytime soon.”

Bryant still has a lot to work on with his approach at the plate. Jaron Madison pointed out that he is “working his butt off” defensively trying to improve at third base.

Minor Signings

According to a report from Chris Cotillo, the Cubs signed RHP Julio Rodriguez. The 23-year old right hander has been pitching in independent baseball with the Bridgeport Bluefish in the Atlantic League. Rodriguez was 2-0 in four games, three starts, with a 2.60 ERA and a 0.98 WHIP (18 strikeouts, 10 walks, seven hits allowed in 17 1/3 innings). Rodriguez signed with the Phillies as a 17-year old in 2008 and pitched in three levels of the Orioles system last year. Rodriguez made it to the Double-A level and was a combined 0-3 in seven starts with a 9.43 ERA and a 1.77 WHIP.

Chris Cotillo passed on a report from Sosnick Cobbe Sports that the Cubs signed RHP Joe Gardner. According to the report, Gardner has been assigned to Double-A Tennessee and is scheduled to make his debut on Saturday. The 26-year old right hander was pitching in independent ball for Lancaster in the Atlantic League. Gardner posted a win in his only start and struck out seven with one walk and three hits allowed in five innings. Gardner is 6-foot-4, 220 pounds and pitched in the Rockies system in 2012 and 2013. Gardner can start or pitch out of the pen and is 38-29 in 117 minor league games, 77 starts, with a 3.83 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP over five seasons.

The Cubs have not announced the signings. Both pitchers could fill holes at the Double-A level left by injuries to Pierce Johnson, C.J. Edwards and Ivan Pineyro.

Update 2:31pm CDT  – Julio Rodriguez has been assigned to Double-A Tennessee according to a report from the Bridgeport Banner.

News and Notes

Jaron Madison shot down the report from Baseball Prospectus this week about Javier Baez’s struggles this season could be vision related. Javier Baez had an eye exam “not too long ago, and everything was fine.” Madison also pointed out that Beaz’s day-night splits were the exact opposite last year. According to Patrick Mooney, it’s finally starting to click for Javier Baez.

Former Cubs prospect, Ryan Searle has signed with the Grand Prairie Air Hogs of the American Association Baseball League.

According to Jim Callis, catcher Max Pentecost keeps rising up draft boards. Callis said he could see Pentecost being selected in the top 10. Theo Epstein checked out Pentecost on Wednesday and Keith Law mentioned him as a possibility for the Cubs in his mock draft last week.

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