Chicago Cubs: Carl Edwards Jr.
What can we say? Carl Edwards Jr. can be the most dangerous pitcher on the mound at any given time. The only issue, is it for the opposing team or Maddon? Early last season, Edwards curveball was on display for the entire league–and no one could hit it. His K-rate was through the roof, and those talks about him taking over the closer’s role were again discussed.
Then, they weren’t. As Edwards has done in the past, he seemed to hit some sort of mental block. Couldn’t locate the fastball for strikes. Spiked one curveball after another for wild pitches, often leading to runs. And the worst part is that you can see it getting to him on the field. You can see it on his face. For Edwards, the talent is already there. For him, this is more of a mental than a physical roadblock.
With Brandon Morrow out to start the season, it’s anyone’s guess what Maddon will do to close games. He may turn to Pedro Strop or might do a closer by committee. Whichever he chooses, Edwards is going to need to fit into all of these equations — having his ability to wipe out an inning with three strikeouts? We’ve seen it more than once before. We’re going to need to see a lot more of it this year.