As we explored yesterday, MLB has confirmed to the Cubs that, when Carl Edwards Jr.’s foot taps back down as part of his hesitation delivery, they’re considering that illegal.
So Carl Edwards Jr delivery has been deemed illegal despite using it all spring. Maddon said he was told at the very end of spring training and then it came up the other day in Texas. So he's back to his old delivery.
— Jesse Rogers (@ESPNChiCubs) April 2, 2019
Edwards and the Cubs were informed his top tap pause was deemed illegal. Edwards wasn't overly upset but said, "It would have been nice if they would have told me in spring training."
— Mark Gonzales (@MDGonzales) April 2, 2019
Yes, it would have been nice. Thing is, when the foot actually touches the ground again, I feel like we already knew that was potentially illegal thanks to the rules clarifications that came after Carter Capps’ infamous delivery was reviewed. If Edwards instead glides his front foot down like Kenley Jansen and Clayton Kershaw do – the guys he was modeling the delivery off of – then it’s not illegal.
I also am 99% sure I’ve seen Jansen inadvertently tap the toe sometimes, but he doesn’t get called for an illegal pitch because it’s rare, inadvertent, and doesn’t make his motion look as jerky as Edwards’ looked this weekend. (But you can bet the Cubs will be watching him like hawks when they play.) In any case, if Edwards absolutely has to tap his toe to make the delivery work, then someone with the Cubs should have said something to him in the Spring, and/or clarified with MLB immediately.
Apparently Edwards is not comfortable doing the hesitation without sometimes tapping that front toe, though, and since it’s now on teams’ radars, he’s abandoning it altogether. So much for that Spring Training work, eh? I guess we just have to hope that the work to create the delivery somehow, uh, hoped shore up his command in his normal slide step delivery. After all, he had to use that delivery anyway when batters reached base, so there’s not a *ton* lost here. He looked fine last night with his old, slide step delivery.
So ends the Great Carl Edwards Jr. Delivery Saga of 2019.