Darvish Looks Good, Edwards Wants to Close Eventually, and Other Bullets

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Darvish Looks Good, Edwards Wants to Close Eventually, and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

Today’s my final full day at Spring Training, which I reckon means I’m getting cut tonight. Gonna hit up the back fields again this afternoon to watch some minor league games. That’s gonna be fun.

Meanwhile …

  • For whatever you can tell when you’re at a game watching live, Yu Darvish looked to have a fantastic slider yesterday – great command, great movement, tons of called strikes and whiffs and ugly swings – and he also had plenty of fastball velocity. But he was really missing down with his fastball in the first inning, and was still a little wild with it into the second inning. Then he settled in, and, until he reached his pitch limit, he pretty much cruised. It was nice to see him adjust and proceed.
  • Sure enough, Darvish said after the game that he just didn’t quite have the feel early, made an adjustment, and then it was fine (Cubs.com). Sometimes that’ll happen, and it’s good to get in some practice.
  • In a perfect world, Carl Edwards Jr. wants to be the Cubs’ closer after this season:

  • No one could question Edwards’ ability to be a very good closer. You can’t teach a guy to have a 96mph fastball that also naturally cuts late and also has elite spin rate and also comes out at above-average extension. And to pair that with a devastating, wipeout curveball? Edwards is the guy you’re picking to close for the Cubs – even right now – if everything is working. But, of course, like with so many uber-talented pitchers, being able to consistently command his pitches is the thing. Edwards has never been quite there, and that’s what has held him back to this point. We’ll see if the new hesitation delivery is a game-changer for him – it certainly could be, if he keeps him more square to the plate and simplifies the final part of his delivery – but it’s going to be fun to see what he can be this year.
  • The Cubs are certainly going to need him to be very good and very healthy out of the gate this year, since they’ll be without Brandon Morrow and Xavier Cedeño, and possibly also Pedro Strop and a fully-effective Brad Brach.
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
  • So far so good on Morrow, by the way:

  • If he actually had a normal ramp-up following Monday’s bullpen, he could actually be ready for the regular season by mid-April. But, given his past injury issues and the fact that he’s coming off elbow surgery, I’m thinking his ramp up will be very deliberate, and carefully controlled. Do not expect him before May, and you won’t be disappointed. (By that part, at least.)
  • Michael is right that this is essentially meaningless, but he’s also right that it is nevertheless fun:

  • Still, I want to offer something. It’s not really a counterpoint, just a reminder:

  • Heads up:


Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.