Cubs’ top pitching prospect to give bullpen September boost

SHARE Cubs’ top pitching prospect to give bullpen September boost
SHARE Cubs’ top pitching prospect to give bullpen September boost

Hard-throwing right-hander Carl Edwards, Jr., was placed on Class AAA Iowa’s 7-day disabled list this week because of a blister on his finger, but he’s expected to be ready for a callup and big-league debut when rosters expand in September.

“He’s put himself in position to do it,” said McLeod of Edwards, who moved from a starting role to the bullpen this season.

Edwards, whose first child also is due in the next couple of weeks, has a 2.87 ERA in 34 appearances and a .139 opponents’ batting average – 3.03 in 21 games since his promotion to Iowa from AA Tennessee. But his command has been an issue all season (41 in 53 1/3 innings).

“He’s had a couple of lemon outings when come of those walk totals have spiked,” McLeod said. “But at the same time he’s still not where he’s going to need it to be consistently effective up here.

“Even in short stints in the big leagues in spring training this year, he’s proven his stuff will play against these guys. It’s just the command.”

Billy Won’t Be a Hero

Minor-league outfielder Billy McKinney, acquired with Addison Russell from Oakland in last year’s Jeff Samardzija/Jason Hammel trade, suffered a hairline fracture by fouling a ball off his knee and has been shut down for the final two weeks of the season.

“We’re hopeful it’ll be more like an eight-week process to where he can at least get on the baseball field again,” said McLeod, who expects McKinney to be in the conversation for a big-league spring training assignment. “We’re still not sure what we’re going to do this winter with him, but at the least he’ll be at our complex in Arizona working out.”

McKinney, 20, who’s hitting .300 with seven homers and a .371 on-base percentage in 106 games between advanced-A and Class AA, was to be examined by team doctors in Chicago on Thursday.

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