Two of the top prospects in the Cubs’ system landed on the disabled list Tuesday and one is done for the season.
OF Billy McKinney’s first season in the organization came to an abrupt end. Billy McKinney fouled a ball off his knee in the fourth inning of last Thursday’s game and was replaced by Ryan Dent. McKinney was placed on the disabled list Saturday.
X-rays revealed a hairline fracture in his right knee. Smokies’ manager Buddy Bailey said Tuesday that McKinney will be sidelined for the rest of the season. McKinney is scheduled to meet with team orthopedic doctors in Chicago this week.
Billy McKinney is considered one of the top position player prospects in the Cubs’ system. McKinney started the season with High-A Myrtle Beach and put up good numbers in the Carolina League. McKinney batted .340/.432/.544 with five doubles, two triples and four home runs for a .976 OPS in 29 games.
McKinney continued to produce at the plate when he was promoted to Double-A Tennessee. McKinney cooled off in July but had gotten back on track and was hitting .310/.388/.500 in the 11 games before landing on the DL.
In 77 games for Double-A Tennessee, McKinney batted .285/.346/.420 with 26 doubles, a triple and three home runs for a .766 OPS. McKinney spent a majority of his time in right field (60) with the Smokies and also played 12 games in left field. McKinney is seen as a corner outfielder, mainly left field, in the majors. McKinney does not turn 21 for four days (Aug. 23).
Billy McKinney hit a combined .300/.371/.454 with 31 doubles, three triples, seven home runs and a .825 OPS for High-A Myrtle Beach and Double-A Tennessee. In 106 games (433 plate appearances), McKinney walked 44 times with 60 strikeouts.
Carl Edwards Jr.
Carl Edwards Jr. is expected to be one of the players called up when the roster expands on Sept. 1 but his Major League debut may have been delayed.
Edwards Jr. entered Monday’s game in the ninth inning with the I-Cubs up 4-2. Edwards Jr. threw two pitches, both out of the strike zone, and left the game with the trainer. Randy Wehofer reported something was wrong with his finger, but the extent of the injury was unknown at the time.
Carl Edwards Jr. was placed on the 7-day DL on Tuesday due to a callus on one of his fingers on his right hand. According to Carrie Muskat, Jed Hoyer said the callus is impacting his release of the ball.
A timetable has not been provided on when Edwards Jr. could return from the disabled list.
Carl Edwards Jr. has stayed healthy this season after pitching the entire year as a reliever. The results have been mixed. Some days Edwards Jr. is lights out, on other days he struggles with his command and issuing walks.
In 21 appearances out of the Iowa Cubs’ bullpen, Edwards Jr. is 3-1 with two saves, a 3.03 ERA and 1.28 WHIP. Edwards Jr. has allowed 11 runs, 10 earned, on 14 hits with 24 walks and 37 strikeouts in 29 2/3 innings. Edwards Jr. misses bats, but too often this season he has missed the strike zone.
For the season in 34 combined appearances between Double-A Tennessee and Triple-A Iowa, Carl Edwards Jr. is 5-3 with six saves, a 2.87 ERA and 1.24 WHIP (23 runs, 17 earned, on 25 hits with 41 walks and 73 strikeouts in 53 1/3 innings).
OF Mark Zagunis was placed on the 7-day DL on Tuesday. Zagunis had not played since he was hit in the helmet during an at-bat against Frederick Keys reliever Jimmy Yacabonis in the fifth inning of the game on Aug. 7.
The Cubs and Pelicans have not provided an update on his status or if he is expected back this season.
Mark Zagunis has been very good in his first full season in pro ball. Zagunis converted to a full-time outfielder and has hit .275/.408/.415 in 101 games for High-A Myrtle Beach with 22 doubles, four triples and seven home runs for a .823 OPS. Zagunis has walked (71) almost as many times as he has struck out (72) in 451 plate appearances, 364 at bats.