ATLANTA – They couldn’t have told him a month ago?
“I was thinking the same thing,” Cubs reliever Carl Edwards Jr. said.
Instead, after Rangers manager Chris Woodward complained over the weekend about Edwards’ new toe-tap, hesitation move during his delivery, the league told the Edwards and the Cubs the move he’d worked to on since February was illegal.
“Yeah, and I’m still not clear,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. “But there was an attempt at clarification.
“It’s not bumming me out,” he added. “It’s fine with Carl. It’s just the fact that it took that long to get back to us.”
If Monday’s inning of work means anything – especially compared to Edwards’ rough season debut in Texas on Saturday night – then going back to his more orthodox delivery might not be the worst thing for him.
He pitched a scoreless seventh against the Braves, with a one-out walk and inning-ending strikeout.
“It would have been nice if they would have told me in spring training, but I’ll just go trust what I did [Monday] and try to take it out there everyday,” said Edwards, whose velocity also returned after a weekend dip.
“Everything feels back to normal,” he said. “I’m just going to take this right here and bring it in when the game is on the line.”
Maddon said that at the end of spring training, umpire Bill Miller mentioned Edwards’ delivery would be considered a balk move. Maddon said he debated with Miller that it was no different than old-time double-pump windups or some toe taps pitchers have used in recent years.
Then the league sided with Miller’s interpretation.
“Maybe they’re talking about after you start your delivery in a sense, I don’t know,” said Maddon, who nonetheless had no problem with what he saw from Edwards against the Braves. “I liked it, and I was happy with what he did [Monday] night.”