The Cubs caught many by surprise when Carl Edwards Jr. (C.J. Edwards) was moved to the pen at the beginning of the season. The Cubs liked what they saw from Edwards while he was in big league camp in short stints. Plus the front office was looking for a way to limit his innings this season.
Edwards hasn’t exactly thrived out of Double-A Tennessee’s bullpen. Edwards is 0-2 with a 4.66 ERA and a 1.86 WHIP. In 9 2/3 innings over five appearances, Edwards has allowed nine runs, five earned, on eight hits with 11 strikeouts and 10 walks.
Sam Dykstra caught up with Edwards and asked him about the switch from a starter to a reliever.
Edwards admitted it wasn’t his decision to move to the pen. Edwards is willing to do what the front office wants and it’s helped him through the transition that the Cubs believe he can be successful as a reliever.
According to the report from MiLB.com, Edwards has added two to three miles per hour on his fastball out of the pen. Edwards said he feels good, the issues have been between the ears and not with his arm. He explained he did not have any confidence with his stuff and was “overthinking everything coming out of the bullpen.
Edwards was told that he will spend the season as a reliever. The Cubs have not ruled out him starting again. But if the front office has plans to stretch him out and use him as a starter this season they have not mentioned it to him.
With the Cubs not exactly lighting up the scoreboard over the last three games (three runs in three games, two on solo home runs), look for Joe Maddon to start mixing up his lineup. Maddon likes to tinker and now there is a reason for him to try different things.
Maddon hit Jorge Soler leadoff Saturday. That decision had more to do with trying to change Soler’s mindset than jump starting the offense. According to multiple reports, Dexter Fowler is the Cubs leadoff hitter … and he’s actually excelled in the top spot in the lineup.
Maddon explained, “It’s just to have them think differently. It’s not about changing mechanics or trying new things, but just to think differently. I’m all about when a hitter is not going as he can, the last thing you want to do it change the physical mechanics. You want to change the mental mechanics first.”
Jorge Soler went 1-for-3 with a walk and a strikeout and Maddon thought Soler looked better Saturday.
LHP Tsuyoshi Wada made his fourth rehab start Saturday night. Wada took the loss due to two unearned runs in the first inning.
According to Randy Wehofer, Wada was “in prime form.” Wada retired 16 in a row and ended up being charged with two unearned runs on two hits with a walk and five strikeouts in seven innings. Wada threw 78 pitches, 53 for strikes. Based on the report the session with Chris Bosio on Wednesday at Wrigley helped Wada get back to the way he pitched last season.
In four appearances for Iowa this season, Wada is 0-3 with a 3.68 ERA and a 1.45 WHIP (24 hits allowed in 22 innings with 17 strikeouts and eight walks).
News, Notes and Rumors
• Joe Maddon told Bruce Miles “advanced stats are best used as acquisitional stats when teams are looking to acquire other teams’ players.”
• According to the Sun-Times, Cubs loss shows plenty of progress left. Jake Arrieta admitted he didn’t give his team what it needed, simply said he didn’t do a good enough job Saturday. And the play in the ninth inning was a total breakdown after Starlin Castro threw away what Maddon called a routine groundball.
• It has been a rough start for the Cubs’ catchers this season. Teams are 20-for-22 in stolen base attempts. Maddon said his team obviously has to get better in that area.
And last, but not least, Saturday was the first time since Aug. 14, 2011 against the Braves the Cubs struck out 18 times in a single game.
This Day In Cubstory
2014 – Jon Lester set a career-high in strikeouts in a 6-3 victory over Oakland. Lester struck out 15 batters in route to the win.
2012 – Ryan Dempster and Homer Bailey squared off against one another in Cincinnati. It’s believed to be the first time in Major League history that opposing starting pitchers are born on the same day. Dempster pitched eight shutout innings, but the Cubs lost 4-3.
2009 – Cubs released Luis Vizcanio
2008 – Cubs released Jesse Garcia
2005 – Cubs signed free agent Travis Phelps
2002 – Rockies purchased Jorge Piedra from the Cubs
1986 – Ron Cey hit his 300th and 301st homers of his career in a 6-5 Cubs victory over the Giants. The Cubs scored four runs in the top of the ninth.
1979 – Cubs acquired Doug Capilla from the Reds for a PTBNL. Cubs sent Mark Gilbert to the Reds on Oct. 12, 1979 to complete the trade.
1977 – Ryan Dempster, born
1963 – Joe Kmak, born
1945 – Davey Lopes, born
1938 – Chris Cannizzaro, born
1931 – Billy Jurges made his Major League debut. Jurges replaced Les Bell at third base late in the game and went 0-for-1 at the plate. The Cubs beat the Reds 13-1 behind home runs by Les Bell and Hack Wilson. Kiki Cuyler and Rogers Hornsby each collected three hits.
1902 – Ralph Michaels, born
1896 – Chicago National League Ball Club hit nine triples in the same dame … Bill Dahlen collected three of the nine three baggers in a 16-7 win over St. Louis. An overflow crowd of 17,231 at West Side Grounds caused the umpire to rule any ball hit into the crowd would be a ground rule triple.
1876 – Frank Morrissey, born
1870 – John Hollison, born
1854 – George Gore, born