One of the Chicago Cubs’ top pitching prospects, Carl Edwards, Jr., made his big league debut yesterday with a scoreless inning of work – walk, double play grounder, grounder – and put himself on the radar for the stretch run. Edwards, 24, was put on the 40-man roster this past offseason and transitioned to the bullpen for 2015 after a shoulder injury cost him much of the 2014 season.
We’ve long mentioned the possibility that he could see time in the bigs this year, and it finally arrived yesterday. You can watch the highlights from his brief appearance here:
Although he’s got a changeup and a killer curve ball, Edwards worked exclusively with his fastball yesterday (though the one two-seamer may actually have been the changeup). He sat in the 93/94mph range, which is extremely playable with the natural cutting movement he gets on his fastball. Being that he threw just 9 pitches, there’s not a whole lot we can analyze.
Perhaps the coolest part about Edwards’ big league debut yesterday – the culmination of a journey that took him from 48th round pick to Major League ballplayer – was that his parents got to be in attendance and actually see him pitch (they took their first flight from South Carolina to be there (Cubs.com)). It wasn’t a lock that Edwards would get into that game, or any game for a few days. But he was called up, and immediately got some action.
You can see more on Edwards’ arrival and debut here at CSN.
We’ll see how/if he’s incorporated into the bullpen mix down the stretch. As I’ve said before, he’s got impact big league stuff, but the command will leave him at times. That makes him awfully risky as a high-leverage reliever right now. Yesterday’s outing was as low leverage as it gets, and it’s possible he’ll just get a few more appearances like that through the end of the year (and we’ll know that this call-up was primarily about getting him some exposure to the big league experience in advance of 2016, when he could really emerge as an important piece). It’s also possible that he’ll show the coaching staff some things, get a look in a couple medium-leverage spots, and then work his way into the meaningful, regular mix. I can’t say that’s likely, but I would not at all rule it out.