When Carl Edwards Jr. was sent to Triple-A Iowa earlier this year, it was a long time in the making. Sure, the right-hander has as much raw talent as any reliever in the game, but he had been too often exploited by a complete lack of command to be useful, let alone effective – especially in the later innings of a ballgame.
But after 8.1 innings in Iowa, he’s on his way back to Chicago:
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) May 6, 2019
And, hey, he’s earned it.
In seven appearances (8.1 IP), Edwards walked just 2 of the 30 batters he faced (6.7% walk rate), striking out 7 and otherwise allowing just 2 earned runs (2.16 ERA). Of course, 8.0+ sterling innings in Iowa doesn’t mean his command issues will suddenly disappear when he returns to the Majors, but that’s obviously a very nice stretch of improved command for a pitcher with just that one glaring weakness.
Moreover, the pitcher he’s displacing on the big league staff, Dillon Maples, is actually going through something similar. Maples, 26, also has impressive velocity and pitch movement, and could be one of the better relievers in the league if he could command the baseball. Unfortunately, he, too, has struggled with his command walking 5 batters in just 2.2 innings of work. So he’ll head back to Iowa to work on straightening things out.
I doubt this is the last we’ll see of Maples this season, so let’s just wish him the best of luck getting right on the farm, and hope Carl is the guy we know he can be whenever he next takes the mound for the Chicago Cubs.