Edwards, 22, is 1-0 with a 2.61 ERA with 20 strikeouts for Double-A Tennessee in four starts over 20 2/3 innings. He experienced “tightness” in the shoulder during a scheduled side session Wednesday following a season-high six inning outing in a 8-3 victory over White Sox’s Double-A Birmingham.
Edwards was acquired by the Cubs last season in the trade that sent starter Matt Garza to the Texas Rangers. He went on to win minor league pitcher of the year for 2013 after leading Single-A Daytona to a Florida State League Championship.
A 48th-round pick in the 2011 draft, Edwards has emerged as Baseball America’s No. 28 overall prospect. His skinny frame – he’s listed at 6-foot-2, 155 pounds in the media guide – has led to questions about his durability. He has also put up 260 strikeouts in 204 career innings in the minors.
The Cubs understand they will need good health and a certain amount of luck as they rebuild through the farm system.
“You can’t develop off the bench,” general manager Jed Hoyer said. “I almost feel like I’d rather see a guy struggle than see a guy hurt, because the struggle can be a learning experience and there’s no benefit from a guy not playing.”
Edwards is the fourth ranked prospect and the top pitcher in the Cubs organization.