Coming into the season, we knew one key for Carl Edwards, Jr., who was briefly up with the Cubs yesterday for the big league doubleheader, was going to be limiting the walks. He gave up too many free passes in Tennessee (6.46 BB/9), Iowa (6.82 BB/9), and during a brief stint in Chicago (5.79 BB/9) a year ago. His stuff is undeniably good, but if it isn’t in the strike zone few batters will swing at it. To reach something near his full potential, he had to cut back on the walks.
Through 11.1 innings in Iowa, that mission hasn’t exactly been accomplished. The sample size is on the small side, but he is currently sitting on a BB/9 of 5.56. That is an improvement, but I was really hoping to see something closer to the 3.94 BB/9 he showed in 48 innings in Tennessee in 2014.
On the other hand, he hasn’t walked anyone in his last four games, so maybe this that rate is a good example of why early season numbers can be dangerous to look at.
Going forward we’ll need to keep an eye on the walk rate, but there is every reason to be optimistic on Edwards despite that. Should the Cubs need another reliever later on in the year (and they almost certainly will), Edwards should be a solid candidate.
- Drew Rucinski: 6 IP, 2 R, 6 H, 2 BB, 6 K
- Giovanni Soto: 1.2 IP, 2 BB, 1 K
- Felix Pena: 1.1 IP. 0s across the board.
- Spencer Patton: 1 IP, 1 H, 2 K
- Albert Almora: 2 for 5, 2 2B
- Willson Contreras: 1 for 4, 2B
- Miguel Montero: 2 for 4. This Montero guy might turn out to be pretty good.
- Kristopher Negron: 2 for 4, 2B
- Paul Blackburn: 6 IP, 4 R, 7 H, 1 BB, 4 K. He needed just 81 pitches.
- Mark Zagunis: 2 for 4
- Kelly Dugan: 0 for 1, 2 BB
- Jacob Hannemann: 0 for 2, 2 BB
- David Freitas: 1 for 4, 2B
- Zach Hedges: 2 R, 6 H, 1 BB, 6 K
- Ryan McNeil: 1 IP, 1 K
- Rashad Crawford: 2 for 4, 2B
- Cael Brockmeyer: 1 for 3, HR
- Justin Steele: 5 IP, 2 H, 2 BB, 6 K
- Kyle Miller: 2 IP, 2 H, 1 K
- Craig Brooks: 1 IP, 1 BB
- James Norwood: 1 IP, 2 K
- Andrew Ely: 4 for 4, 3 2B, SB. The only time he didn’t double, he just stole second instead.
- Jesse Hodges: 3 for 4
- In addition to his doubles, Almora produced an impressive diving catch in the eighth that may have saved a run. With a runner on first, he not only made the play on the ball in the right center field gap, he was able to fire the ball back into to first in time to double off the base runner and end the inning. As of the time of writing there is no video online of this defensive marvel, but we’ll be sure to link it once one becomes available.
- After yesterday’s start, Blackburn’s ERA went all the way up to 1.02. That one start does little to detract from his very good performances to open the season.
- Brockmeyer’s home run was a long one: