The Wife and The Kids are getting ready to depart for a short get-away-from-Brett-during-the-Blogathon vacation. A very generous assist – and thanks to The Grandparents for taking them on.
- As Luke noted this morning in the Minor League Daily, new Cubs pitching prospect C.J. Edwards had himself a debut. Pitching for the first time with the Cubs since he was traded in the Matt Garza deal – and pitching for the first time at High-A – Edwards struck out the first seven batters he faced. He wound up giving up just one hit and one walk over five scoreless innings, striking out eight. Better? He worked most of his magic early off of his fastball alone. If you can see that kind of success with fastball velocity, placement, and movement, you can be a stud, because your other pitches need only be so-so. You never want to let one start tell you too much about a 21-year-old, but when it’s built upon the back of a stellar first half of the season in the Rangers’ organization, my optimism for Edwards is rocketing upward. He could probably stand to gain about 10 to 15 pounds of muscle, but we’ll get there. More on Edwards from MiLB.com here.
- … and then FanGraphs does a good job of grounding you a little bit on Edwards. Though even that piece is positive, overall. If you wanted to argue that Edwards is the Cubs’ best pitching prospect right now, I wouldn’t think you a total idiot.
- If you were betting on MLB right now, the NL Central is looking more and more like a safe bet to send three teams to the playoffs. The Diamondbacks are 4.5 games behind the Reds for the second Wild Card, but 2.5 back in the NL West. That figures to be a nice fight, but I don’t see the loser overtaking the Reds or Pirates for a Wild Card spot – and I don’t see either the Reds or Pirates overtaking the Cardinals in the Central. Voodoo magic.
- A little more background on new Cubs pitching prospect Corey Black, the 21-year-old righty who’ll join Edwards at High-A Daytona. He’ll make his debut there on Thursday.
- Speaking of Black, Yankees GM Brian Cashman apparently was quite opposed to giving him up in the Alfonso Soriano deal (that tends to be a good sign). We discussed Cashman’s opposition to the Soriano deal this weekend, but he addressed those rumors publicly (see ESPN), saying that it wasn’t that he didn’t want Soriano. He simply thought the Yankees could have gotten a better deal if they’d held out a little longer, despite ownership’s insistence that a deal was needed ASAP. After yesterday’s win, which featured four hits by Soriano, including a homer and the walk-off single, maybe he’s glad the Yankees pulled the trigger when they did.
- Chris Rusin got a little advice from Greg Maddux when he was a younger pitcher in High-A ball back in 2010.
- Scott Baker’s next rehab start will come today at Daytona.
- In case you missed anything from a fairly busy weekend: the Cubs aren’t getting Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez (here), there was a Lukewarm Stove (here), there was more on the Alfonso Soriano deal and prospect Corey Black (here), there was a Jeff Samardzija rumor floating around (here), Luke dug into what’s left to watch in the minor league seasons (here), and there is a new top prospect list out (here).