Chicago Cubs: The team should consider sending C.J. Edwards down

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

Before I say anything, try to keep an open mind. This post will rub some Chicago Cubs’ fans the wrong way.

I know that 90% of the people who comment on this link on Facebook are going to be outraged.  And you know what, I don’t care.

With that being said, Chicago Cubs’ Carl Edwards needs some time to work on his game.  If you go to his Baseball Reference page, the numbers may fool you a bit.

Last year he was a 1.5 WAR player who had a 2.98 ERA, 12.8 SO9, and a 1.010 WHIP.  Those are pretty good numbers; there’s no disputing that.  So the furious people in the comment section are saying right now, ‘exactly, so why does he need to go down then, idiot?!’

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First of all, calm down.  Secondly, look at his first half vs. second half splits.  In the first half, he was the dominant pitcher everyone expects him to be.  His ERA was 2.29, his WHIP was an excellent .962, and still was missing bats with a 12.7 SO/9.

Second half was a little bit of a different story.  His ERA ballooned up to 3.77, his opponent OBP was .290, and his opponent tOPS + went from 95 to 105.

Now by no means are those numbers awful; however, I wouldn’t say that they’re at an elite level.  The main reason why I’m writing this article and why I have some concerns is due to his lackluster postseason performance.

Let’s face facts, Edwards was awful in the NLDS.

I’m fully aware how harsh that is and the old cliché how baseball’s a team sport where you can’t blame one player individually.  But in some instances, you can.

Game one against the Nats, he was fine.  He threw one clean inning striking out two.  Game two, not so much.  In a third of an inning, he gave up three earned runs after giving up a homer to future Cub Bryce Harper. (see what I did there?)

I get it. Don’t freak out over one game.  And to his credit, Edwards bounced back with a clean inning in Game 3. Then when Game 4 rolled around, Edwards didn’t manage to get an out and gave up two runs.

And in Game 5 of the NLDS, he again didn’t get a single out and still gave up a run. Now I’m not the type of guy who believes in the idea of a ‘clutch’ player, but I believe that there are guys who have a hard time performing when the lights shine bright.  If this past postseason was any indication, Edwards might be that kind of guy.

On the bright side, he’s very young – going into his age 24 season this year.

This gets to the crux of the issue for me; the Cubs should consider sending him down.  First of all, since he’s so young, the team doesn’t have to worry about his contract.

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Secondly, with all of the bullpen additions they’ve made this offseason, there isn’t a whole lot of room for him.  What would his role be as it is right now?  Probably the sixth inning guy would be my best guess.

Edwards’ name has been floated around as possibly being the Cubs’ closer of the future.  If you send him down, he will get reps closing out ballgames.  He’s not going to get that opportunity in the majors.

I know that this still isn’t enough to convince some of you.  And I’m not saying they have to send him down; I just think it should be something to consider.

If he looks great in Mesa, then, by all means, keep him on the 25-man, but if he doesn’t, it might be better for his long-term future if he spent some time in Iowa.