Feb 18, 2014; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Chicago Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer speaks to the media during MLB media day at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
After several tense days, the Chicago Cubs and their fans can all breathe a collective sigh of relief.
According to Chicago Tribune Cubs beat writer Mark Gonzales, top pitching prospect C.J. Edwards‘ recent MRI revealed no structural damage and the right-hander has been diagnosed with shoulder inflammation and fatigue – a diagnosis far better than what many had anticipated.
Acquired in the trade that sent right-hander Matt Garza to Texas last summer, Edwards has been utterly dominant since he joined the Cubs organization. Last season, he went 8-2 with a 1.86 ERA in 116 1/3 innings of work, during which he allowed just one home run.
So far this season, the 22-year-old Edwards is 1-0 with a 2.61 ERA with Double-A Tennessee. Gonzales also mentioned the relief that spans the entire organization, including big league skipper Ricky Renteria.
"“A lot of talk is about pitch counts and how you limit young men’s arms,” Renteria told Gonzales. “As they say, there are only so many bullets in there. The hope is he’ll be able to do something like that. (…) Hopefully he’s able to maintain his strength and do what he’s capable of doing.”"
Edwards, a 6-foot-2, 160 pound pitcher, is the organization’s third-ranked prospect, according to Baseball America, and the Cubs eye him as a potential front line starter at the big league level. After the right-hander felt discomfort in his shoulder recently, many wondered if he would be the latest arm to go under the knife. However, after this diagnosis, the organization plans to rest him for two weeks before placing him on a throwing program.
"“He’s somebody we really like,” Renteria said, “and this is just a little setback. He’ll be fine.”"