Can the Chicago Cubs thrive with a dangerously shorthanded bullpen?

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
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Is this the moment Chicago Cubs fans have waited for?

For years, Carl Edwards Jr. has been one of those arms you can’t help but get excited about because when he’s on, he’s dirty. This year has been a roller coaster for the 27-year-old, who spent most of the last month with the Triple-A Iowa Cubs after several ineffective outings to open the season.

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Since rejoining the big league club this week, Edwards has a pair of scoreless appearances under his belt – which, given how the year opened, we’ll all take gladly. Now you might think I’m absolutely insane suggesting we hand the ninth inning to a guy with a 14.73 ERA this year, but I think the stuff is there.

It’s 100 percent about whether or not the lanky hurler can handle the role mentally.

When he returned to the team, Maddon noted a change in his young fireballer.

"‘‘As he walked in the door, I just felt a different presence,’’ he said this week. ‘‘I just thought, ‘He’s ready to go.’ He seems very focused. And I’m really curious to watch this whole thing.’’"

We all know how Maddon can be with ‘his’ guys – loyal to a fault. I wouldn’t be surprised in the slightest to see him go to Edwards in a critical spot this weekend against the rival Brewers. And, really, who can blame him? The righty has a 2.81 ERA to go along with 12.2 K/9 over the last two seasons, where he’s been one of the team’s best relievers.

Next. Montgomery ready to return to the Cubs' pen. dark

This year didn’t start the way Edwards or the Cubs had hoped. But given the team’s lack of impact arms heading into the second half of the month, this may very well prove to be the breakout moment we’ve been hoping for since he first broke onto the scene.