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I know, despite my pleas to remain calm, you were probably freaking out about C.J. Edwards’ shoulder MRI all day today.

OK. I was, too.

But the early reports look good for the Cubs’ top pitching prospect.

Now, “good” is a relative term here. That the MRI revealed no structural issues is key, because that’s where the shoulder terror comes from. That the MRI revealed inflammation is not so good, but also not surprising, given that Edwards was obviously feeling something. So, inflammation is about the best you could hope for.

Having to take a couple weeks off, and then go through a throwing program to build back up his arm is also not the best, but it’s also far from an awful thing. Edwards is still a developing prospect, but at 22 and in AA, a few weeks off isn’t going to do serious harm to his development. Taking it extremely easy with his recovery here is obviously the right approach.

Hopefully the Cubs and Edwards are also able to identify what may have been causing the irritation in the first place, so that there are no lingering or recurring issues.

All in all, this is good news, compared to what it could have been.

UPDATE: Edwards also sees this as good news.

  • Kyle

    That’s the best it could have been at this point, but it’s still not as good as “not having to take off a bunch of weeks with shoulder discomfort.”

    • Kyle

      What’s the old adage? Elbows blow out, shoulders wear out.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        Except we now believe that old adage is wrong, at least with respect to elbows: they also wear out over time. It’s just that, eventually, when they’ve worn enough, they blow out.

        (Or, sometimes, they just blow out.)

        • Kyle

          I shoulda known better than to trust an old adage.

          Either way, this isn’t good news. It’s just the best news we could have gotten at this point.

          • ssckelley

            This is good news, structure damage to the shoulder can be serious enough to end a guys career before it even started.

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

            You’re starting from Monday. From Monday, this isn’t good news. From Wednesday on, this is good news.

            • DarthHater

              Kyle’s Theorem: In considering any issue X, the correct time frame is whichever one will result in the conclusion that X is not good news. :-P

              • Kyle

                Over a long enough timeline, the life expectancy of everyone drops to zero.

                • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                  I am Jack’s unreasonable sense of self worth.

                  (obligatory clarifying winky face)

      • miggy80

        I blew my shoulder out when diving for a ball coming in from left field. Dove into my SS coming out for it and caught his knee in my collar bone. I still held on to the ball and batted in the bottom of the inning and got the walk off single. I’m kind of a legend because of that play, and the walk off. Everybody knew I was hurt and we would take an out if I didn’t bat. I knew it was going to come down to my at bat, so I played the hurt card as much as I could. As I limped to the plate a la Gibson 88′ I mustered all I had for one last swing. Just my luck I got something on the outer corner of the plate and was able to push it down the line over the 1st basemen’s head. Yeah, kind of like Brett and kick soccer baseball I’m a legend in Des Moines Softball.

        • ssckelley

          When I come to Des Moines for an ICub game I want your autograph.

          • miggy80

            Give a heads up on when you come down and we’ll try to get some BN’ers together. And of course you can have my autograph :P

        • jp3

          I bet you could throw a football over those mountains;)

          • miggy80

            [img]http://www.lolriot.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Napoleon-Dynamite-GIF-Dance-move.gif[/img]

  • ssckelley

    Good news but this does not settle concerns that he cannot handle throwing 200 innings per season.

    • http://deepcenterfield.mlblogs.com/ Jason Powers

      He probably can’t handled that. But as the Cubs top pitching prospect, we dance if he can be a #3 starter or a front-line closer for us.

      Stand by to stand by on the CJ developing – non-developing saga.

    • Funn Dave

      Were you expecting the MRI to wash away concerns about his durability?

      • http://deepcenterfield.mlblogs.com/ Jason Powers

        Nope.

        Glass Joe pitchers are the MLBs main dish. They are great until they are headed for the MRI/Andrews blue plate special. The team that doesnt have the doc on speed dial is a lucky one.

      • ssckelley

        Not at all, the instant the news broke yesterday that he was seeing the team doctor it raised the level of concern. The news of the MRI did nothing but make me feel a little relief that he can still pitch.

  • Darth Ivy

    double good news

    MLB changes transfer rule. If the ball is secured in the glove but fall out while being transferred to throwing hand, it’s a catch

    • Darth Ivy

      Torre used the term, “intentional opening”

  • Spriggs

    maybe this means Vizcaino has some competition for the closer role in a year or two

  • KHRSS

    Too bad, he was having a pretty good season so far. Hopefully he picks up right where he left off.

  • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

    I suspect this is going to turn the starter vs reliever debate up a few notches.

    No structural damage is a good sign, though. It’ll be interesting to see who gets those starts in Tennessee over the next few weeks.

    • http://deepcenterfield.mlblogs.com/ Jason Powers

      At this point, either will be a plus to the 2015…16..Cubs.

    • ssckelley

      Pierce Johnson should slide right in right? He would give them 5 starters with Black, Loosen, Pineyro, and Rhee.

    • Brocktoon

      Yep, the big issue here is he’s not going to be able to amp up his innings total much if at all this season, meaning even if he’s lights out when he comes back, it’s tough to feel comfortable giving him a full year’s worth of starts next season when he wouldn’t have exceeded 120 innings prior.

    • Jon

      I hope not. Suddenly, the Cubs of heist of Texas looks like less of a heist if all it netted them was 3 relievers and a platoon third baseman.

      • CubsFaninMS

        It’s way too soon to gauge that (although I’m sure I’m not telling you something you don’t already know). I believe that they’ll attempt to stretch at least two of those three out: Ramirez, Grimm, Edwards. IMO Grimm and Ramirez are roughly a notch or two behind Andrew Cashner. One very well may put it together and become a starter.

      • JakeMac

        Would it still be a good trade in your book, just not a heist?

        • Jon

          Yes, good trade still.

    • jp3

      Pierce started in Tennessee this past week so he’s not the one filling in right?

  • salesguy

    At this point, as far as who gets the starts, my vote goes to Jackson (Edwin that is) :)

  • jonred

    Now that we can breath easier about Edwards, has anyone heard an update on Soler? His continued injury issues are getting a bit concerning and surprising given that he his a physical presence on the field.

  • Darth Ivy
  • CubsFaninMS

    Someone the other day raised a very good point. The one bright spot we can say about this front office’s major league acquisitions is the starting pitching. Before the selloff, it’s been good for the past three seasons. The bullpen has been the concern. Although I certainly hope C.J. Edwards puts it together as starter, having him in the bullpen with Strop, Grimm, Vizcaino, Russell (I kid), and a few others, and we have the potential for a crazy good bullpen. That is our weak spot that they’ve had trouble addressing through free agency. But, again, he being a starter is definitely the best result being that he becomes a more valuable asset.

    • http://www.survivingthalia.com Mike Taylor

      Our bullpen should be a strength in the upcoming years…

      Cervenka (L)
      Edwards
      Francescon
      Grimm
      McKirahan
      Ramirez
      Rivero
      Rosscup (L)
      Rondon
      Rusin (L)
      Strop
      Vizcaino

      • CubsFaninMS

        You left out Edwin Jackson. :-)

        • http://www.survivingthalia.com Mike Taylor

          He’s trade bait for a reclamation project on another team in which their starting rotation suffers a rash of injuries; assume we eat $4-5M per year in the trade.

  • http://bleachernation.com woody

    I could see Edwards making it to the big show a lot faster as a reliever. Having him and Viscaino at the back of the pen would be pretty awesome.

    • CubsFaninMS

      If we keep Samardzija and Wood then acquire a Masterson and Scherzer, suddenly we have a serioulsy good rotation. That is not likely but our rotation can get interesting very quickly and they have the funds to do it.

      • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

        The 2015 Club still has a great chance at contending with Edwards/Vizcaino/Wada/FA starter and then Baez/Bryant/Alcantara.

        It’d take a lot of shit going right for the Cub…oh, wait…2015 is DOOMED.

        • CubsFaninMS

          Last year I laid out a plan for the front office to “pivot” during the offseason and they did not do so. I trust their judgment better than my own (obviously) and it appears the opportunities were not ideal. Hopefully this offseason will be their pivot year. Seeing a .500 or above ballclub in Bryant, Baez, Alcantara, and Hendrick’s first season of Major League ball may develop more of a positive, winning culture, although that intangible is always difficult to quantify.

      • brickhouse

        more likely trading Samardizija and not acquiring a top of the rotation starter which leaves you further away from competing

        • http://www.survivingthalia.com Mike Taylor

          That’s why you trade Samardzija for top prospects (who’ll be here soon enough) and sign a veteran in his place. Villanueva, Schierholtz, Soriano and Hairston equate to $23.5M off the books next year. Add to that total whatever Jeff was going to make in arbitration and that should be enough for Max Scherzer and plenty more to cover what Shields or Masterson will get in free agency if Scherzer-to-Chicago is too hard a sell. Veras + Wright + Fujikawa + Hammel + Ruggiano + Barney = $21.125M, that’s enough for Shields.

          Scherzer
          Shields
          Wood (L)
          Arrieta
          Jackson / Hendricks

          Grimm
          Rusin (L)
          Ramirez
          Rondon
          Rosscup (L)
          Strop
          Vizcaino

      • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

        Acquiring Masterson and Scherzer would require approx. 350 million dollars. The Cubs don’t have the funds to do that

        • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

          It wouldn’t take that money up front.

          • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

            Agreed but it would take a minimum of 40 million, probably closer to 50 million per year

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

          They should, and that’s without factoring in the expected, if somewhat moderate, bump in revenue that should be coming in from the partial TV package next season.

          • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

            That’s a big bump though Luke. You have to figure those 2 will get a combined 50 million AAV. Add the 5-7 million dollar raise Shark will get if he’s still here and the 4 million dollar raise Rizzo has coming and that’s a HUGE bump in payroll. I don’t see Scherzer as realistic as the length of the deal that will be required will be a huge deterrent for the Cubs. Despite his age, I personally want James Shields. The AAV might be similar to Masterson, but he’ll only take 3-4 years most likely and he has the kind of stuff the will age well. Adding Shields speeds up the window to compete quite a bit in my opinion.

            • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

              I doubt they get Scherzer either, but I think they’d have the room. Essentially you’re talking about a $60 million increase in annual payroll. Working from memory, wouldn’t that just put the Cubs back in the $115m to $125m range?

              It’s rare that a team makes a jump like that, but I suspect the Cubs have the room to do it.

              Masterson, Shields, and the next pitcher from Japan wouldn’t be a bad way to shore up the rotation. Pull that trifecta and keep Hamel, and they could probably trade Shark anyway.

              • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

                Ya I’d be ok with just Shields and Maeda. I like Masterson, but the major drop in velocity so far this year has me a bit worried. It is early however and the K rate is still there right now, so maybe he’s just changed the way he pitches.

          • Brocktoon

            I’d guess the bump in TV revenue would be offset at least somewhat by drop in gameday revenues.

            • Jon

              In 2013 the Cubs payroll stood at 104 million and they(per Theo were pretty much maxed out on payroll). So right around there is where it can “live”

              That was coming off a year when they drew 2.8 million.

              In 2013 they drew 2.6 million. Who knows what it will be in 2014? But if you factor a loss of 200K, that’s about 15 million dollars in gate revenues(6 million/100K)

              There are downsides to tanking your ballclub.

  • Jon

    Cubs will be at 74 million next year including estimated arbitration. They literally would have to make it a mission “not” to spend next off season.

  • 70’s Cub

    Cubs need to buy a solid all around Bat high on base plenty of doubles type line drives. I trade Shark for that.

  • jp3

    Boy Vogulbomb has been on fire the last 5 games… Sweet Jesus, he’s reached base his last 8 ABs at least between tonight and yesterday. 4-4 yesterday and 3-3 and a bB tonight

  • Canadian Cubs Fan

    This may be tough to get an answer on, but if you just plucked a random, healthy MLB starter and gave him an MRI, how much should inflammation would there be? I’m assuming they’d all have at least a bit. Just glad it wasn’t worse, although I was assuming it would be!

  • Fastball

    Somehow I don’t see any of the potential free agent pitchers signing with the Cubbies next off season. We can’t talk Shark into signing. How in the world do you talk a Scherzer or Masterson into signing. We don’t have enough money to lure those type pitchers to this organization. We couldn’t take Tanaka into anything and he isn’t either one of these other two. If we are selling Baez and Bryant are going to be great and I’m a top free agent pitcher I would shoot my agent for even thinking about it on my behalf. So Theo has more work to do and 2017 is probably the 1st year his plan puts up a contender. Okay maybe if the stars align perfectly 2016.

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