Chicago Cubs: Will Carl Edwards Jr. finally prove himself this season?

(Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
(Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
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Chicago Cubs: Edwards numbers

Now don’t start sending me nasty mail because I’m reminding everyone of what they may have forgotten. I do believe that as players take the field and experience more, they get better. With the number of tough games that Edwards has played since 2015, he’s got to be getting better. His 2015 ERA has gone from 3.86 to an impressive 2.60 last year.  He had 94 strikeouts in 2017 and tanked last year with only 68. That deficit could be attributed to his time off with an injury, right?

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Now whether you believe he was actually injured or not ( I believed at the time Maddon was letting him cool down from being such a mess), Edwards was on the disabled list for a while last season which cost him some of those games. I don’t believe he would throw 26 more strikeouts during his break, which would have tied his 94 in 2017. So it’s safe to say he was on the decline last season.

Edwards gave up only six fewer walks (32) last year than in 2017 (38). The difference last season was the Cubs had a hard time putting runs up on the board and Edwards’s meltdowns seemed to come at crucial times when the Cubs could not afford to let him walk too many batters.

With money issues this year, the Cubs kept most of their players intact. So we begin another season with Edwards still playing in a crucial position for the Cubs bullpen.

Next. Maddon's evolution and the Cubs window. dark

Don’t think the pressure isn’t on in that bullpen; with Cubs pitcher Yu Darvish trying to regain his name and injured Cubs pitcher ‘Can’t-put-his-pants-on-without-falling-down’ Brandon Morrow still recovering from surgery (stay in the bed Brandon – no more injuries please), you can bet Edwards is going to have some pressure right out of the gate.

The question? Can he handle it this season?

The jury’s still out.