Carl Edwards has some of the best stuff on the Chicago Cubs staff, yet he’s never harnessed it. But if his recent return to form is any sign, he could become elite.
This young Chicago Cubs right-hander Carl Edwards has all the talent in the world. Inconsistency and blow-ups have clouded what has really been a very effective career so far. But, recently, Edwards appears to be back to his old self, and if he keeps it up, he could theoretically serve as another ‘acquisition’ to a struggling bullpen.
It’s well known how bad of a start Edwards had out of the gate. In his first four appearances, he posted a 32.40 ERA in just four games. His first outing of the season was a blown save loss to the Rangers after he gave up a long home run to Joey Gallo.
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Chicago sent him back to Iowa for more than a month to work on his stuff and get his confidence back. Since coming back to the big league team on May 6, he has a 2.21 ERA in 14 games. In 12 2/3 innings, he has given up just four hits, only three earned runs, struck out 14 and most importantly only walked one batter. Opposing hitters are slashing a horrendous .098/.116/.195 since his return.
For his career, Edwards has a 3.28 ERA, with 233 strikeouts in 173 1/3 innings, allowing just 90 hits. The stuff is clearly there for Edwards, but sometimes he just doesn’t know where it’s going.
The Cubs’ bullpen is largely suspect. There have been a lot of mixed results from guys like Brandon Kintzler, Brad Brach and Mike Montgomery, among others. Brandon Morrow is still injured and Pedro Strop also spent some time on the disabled list.
Earlier this week, news of the Cubs’ signing Craig Kimbrel broke. The terms of the deal are rumored to be three years and $43 million with a fourth-year option. Add Kimbrel to a bullpen with Steve Cishek and Strop and the Cubs can shorten a lot of games.
Edwards staying the guy he’s been since coming back from the minor leagues would add even more length to the ‘pen and make it awfully formidable late in games. That’s especially true given we’re at a point with Morrow where you can’t plan on getting him back in any capacity.
Edwards has posted ERA’s of 3.75, 2.98, and 2.60, respectively. The lanky right-hander seems to be improving every year. However, in the second half last year he showed some cracks in the armor, which led to the rough start to the season. Not to mention, the career 12.09 K/9 gives the Cubs a guy that can actually miss bats, which is something the pitching staff desperately needs.
However, he is also averaging 4.85 BB/9 over his career, which is why the one walk since coming back is so important for a guy like him. His career opponent average of .152 shows he’s not very hittable and can be nasty when he throws strikes. Throwing strikes consistently would really help him take that next step like the Cubs, front office and fans, think he can take.