The skinny on Carl Edwards Jr. and would-be burger endorsements
MESA, Ariz. — Hard-throwing reliever Carl Edwards Jr. has perhaps the most natural endorsement deal in major-league baseball.
There’s just one problem, thought when it comes to the Carl’s Jr. fast-food chain: Edwards isn’t sure he’s ready to commit to just one kind of hamburger at this point in his life.
“Nah,” he said. “I mean, I like Carl’s Jr., though. But I can’t put down all the other burgers.”
After the Sun-Times’ Steve Greenberg wrote a story this week about Edwards and his lifelong efforts to fill out his rail-thin frame with loads of fast food — including his recent affinity for Carl’s Jr. burgers — the company reached out to the pitcher in a pair of tweets.
“Hey Carl, it’s Carl. We think your tastes are plenty refined,” said one of the tweets, with a screen grab of an excerpt from Greenberg’s story.
“I just laughed. It was funny,” said Edwards, who added he might be willing to talk endorsement deal if it doesn’t involve burger-brand exclusivity. “I love burgers.”
Cubs’ other Baez
Jeffrey Baez, a speedy outfielder who played at advanced-Class A Myrtle Beach last season, seemed to enjoy the chance to face starter Jon Lester in an intrasquad game Thurday on a minor-league field. He also apparently enjoys fastballs, which Lester threw almost exclusively Thursday.
Baez, who hit .241 with eight homers last year for Myrtle Beach, homered on a full-count pitch in the first, doubled to center to drive home a run in the third and drove another double just inside the left-field line in the fifth for another RBI.
“He’s good, isn’t he?” Lester said afterward. “I got our A-ball team locked in.”
Cubs’ setup man Hector Rondon said he was excited Tuesday about joining his Venezuelan countrymen for the second round of the World Baseball Classic as he departed Cubs camp for San Diego.
About 36 hours and two elevated fastballs later, the excitement dimmed after he gave up the eighth-inning home runs to Adam Jones and Eric Hosmer that sank Team Venezuela against the United States.
“Physically, he looks fine. It was a matter of execution,” said manager Joe Maddon, who reiterated he had no qualms about a healthy Rondon pitching in the event. “Listen, I’m all about him going. If anything, when he goes and pitches in a game like that, he just jumped right into it, where those guys have been doing it for a little bit. He had to amp it up rather quickly. I’m just curious to see his next time out.”
Maddon said he’s not concerned about the Cubs’ 19 errors in 20 spring games, including three by third baseman Kris Bryant and two each by shortstop Addison Russell and left fielder Kyle Schwarber.
“I’m honestly not worried,” he said. “The work’s great. We’ve done a lot of great things [in the field], too. Just the outfields are hard [with the desert sun], and the infields are fast. It’s a hard place to really evaluate.”
The Cubs were the top fielding team in the majors last season and might have upgraded behind the plate (Willson Contreras) and in center field (Albert Almora Jr. and Jon Jay).
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