Results tagged ‘ C.J. Edwards ’
C.J. Edwards was nervous Tuesday night. He had more than a week to prepare for his first Cactus League start, and had taken the advice of his father, who told him to pray and meditate. Edwards tried to visualize his approach.
“My dad actually helped me get ready for this game,” Edwards said.
But Edwards’ father was back in Prosperity, S.C., and the pitcher had to rely on Cubs pitching coach Chris Bosio and catcher John Baker, who both told Edwards to just keep doing what he had been doing. The slender right-hander was a combined 8-2 with a 1.86 ERA last season at Class A Hickory and High A Daytona. He joined the Cubs in July after being dealt from the Rangers in the Matt Garza deal. Most of the Cubs front office, including Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer, were in the stands in Peoria on Tuesday night to watch Edwards. He didn’t see them because Edwards says he has great “tunnel vision.” The 22-year-old had enough to think about.
“I went out there the first inning, and nerves were crazy,” Edwards said of his start against the Padres. “I can’t even explain the nerves I had. Overall being out there, I felt like I should be out there.”
He retired the first batter, and Seth Smith singled, but Edwards got Kyle Blanks to hit into a double play and end the inning. The second wasn’t as smooth as Xavier Nady singled to lead off and reached third on an error by Ryan Kalish. Rene Rivera hit a sacrifice fly, and Edwards then walked the next two batters. That prompted a visit from Bosio.
Edwards regrouped and got a ground out, and then struck out Andrew Cashner to end the inning. In the third, Edwards again retired the first batter, then Smith singled and Blanks walked. Bosio again came to the mound along with all the infielders. Edwards caught his breath, then served up a double to Nady and a sacrifice fly before he was lifted.
As Edwards walked off the field, Baker said something to him.
“His exact words were, ‘Hey, you did a hell of a job, man, and you’ve got a bright future ahead. Just stay with it,’” Edwards said, smiling.
A lot of players are so overcome by the moment that they admit they’re shaking the first time on a mound in a big league game.
“I actually wasn’t that nervous on the mound,” he said. “After I came in the first inning, my right knee just started going by itself and I was trying to look around and hold it down, but it didn’t work, so I let it bounce.”
Edwards also got advice from first baseman Anthony Rizzo, who came over to the mound in the second after the pitcher walked two in a row.
“He comes up to me, and he goes, ‘Hey, do you want to play first base?’ I was like, ‘Yeah, let’s switch,’” Edwards said.
But they didn’t. It wasn’t just Baker or Rizzo, it was everyone on the Cubs giving Edwards support. They’ve all been there.
“Overall, the guys were behind me 100 percent and they have faith in me,” he said.
The Cubs just have to figure out a way to add some muscle to his skinny body. He weighed 165 on Tuesday, no change from January when he admitted he’s been eating everything in sight. In fact, he gorged on a large order of French toast at the Breakfast Club in Scottsdale on Tuesday morning. He couldn’t finish the eggs and sausage but did eat all the bread.
He could relax once his outing was over.
“Like I tell everybody, I enjoyed it,” Edwards said. “I feel I can be out there any time to help the club when the time comes. The guys that we have up are already doing great. We’ll have our ups and downs but we’ll go out there each and every day 110 percent. When that day comes and I get the call, I feel I’ll be ready to come up there.”
Hopefully, Tuesday’s start will make it easier when he does get promoted.
“Now, I feel my first game there [at Wrigley Field], I won’t be as nervous, but then again, it’ll be Chicago, and there will be over 100 thousand fans there,” he said, over-estimating the ballpark’s attendance by about 60,000. “It’s a little different here. It was wonderful. The outcome wasn’t good but overall just being around those guys was fantastic.”
Edwards isn’t sure where he’ll open the 2014 season, although the Cubs have said it could be Double-A Tennessee. He can only hope he’s matched up with his roommates, like Duane Underwood, who made the drive to Peoria to cheer on the right-hander. There were more people in the stands than in Edwards’ hometown.
“I believe there was,” he said.
– Carrie Muskat
Top prospect C.J. Edwards will start Tuesday night when the other half of the Cubs travels to Peoria, Ariz., to face the Padres. Here’s the night lineup:
The Cubs will have day-night split squad games on Tuesday, with half the team playing the Angels at Cubs Park at 1:05 p.m. and the other half in Peoria, Ariz., to face the Padres at 7:05 p.m. Here are the early lineups:
Vs. Angels, Cubs Park
Vs. Padres, Peoria, AZ
C.J. Edwards P
* C.J. Edwards and Ryan Searle combined on a two-hitter and Kris Bryant drove in two runs to lead Class A Daytona to 4-0 win over Dunedin Wednesday and clinch the Florida State League best-of-three North Championship Series, two games to none. Daytona now faces Charlotte in the best of five FSL Championship Series, starting Thursday.
Edwards, acquired in July from the Rangers in the Matt Garza trade, struck out eight and walked one over five innings, while Searle struck out five over four innings in relief in the game, which was interrupted by rain. Bryant was 3-for-3, hitting a two-run double in the third. Wes Darvill hit a RBI double in the second, and Elliot Soto added another RBI double in the fourth.
* Class A Boise also reached the Northwest League Championship with a win Wednesday. Justin Marra hit a pair of two-run doubles to help Boise beat Salem-Keizer, 11-7, and clinch the South Division Series, two games to none. Boise will now play Vancouver. Marra hit his first double in the first inning, and put Boise ahead for good with another in the third. Kevin Encarnacion and Danny Lockhart each had three hits. Loiger Padron picked up the win in relief, giving up three hits over 2 2/3 innings. This is the 13th trip in franchise history to the championship series for the Hawks, and they are vying for their seventh title.
* On Thursday, the Cubs’ Double-A affiliate, Tennessee, begins Southern League North Division series play against Birmingham in a best of five series at Regions Field. Games 3-5 will be played at Smokies Park.
Brooks Raley threw eight shutout innings in Iowa’s 3-0 win over Fresno. Raley gave up two hits, a leadoff single in the first and another single in the seventh, and walked two while striking out three. Jae-Hoon Ha hit a double and drove in a run. He’s now hit in 12 straight games.
Nick Struck gave up four runs over four innings in Tennessee’s 10-2 loss to Montgomery. Jonathan Mota delivered a pinch-hit RBI triple.
C.J. Edwards struck out eight and gave up three runs over 3 2/3 innings in Daytona’s 6-3 win over Tampa. Bijan Rademacher was 3-for-3 with one RBI. Zeke DeVoss had two RBIs. Edwards now has fanned 17 over 9 2/3 innings.
Kane County totaled two hits in a 6-0 loss to Cedar Rapids. Daniel Vogelbach had one, extending his hitting streak to five games.
Dillon Maples gave up one run over five innings and improved to 4-0 with a 1.17 ERA in Boise’s 9-2 win over Vancouver. Maples struck out five and walked one. Carlos Penalver had three hits, including a second-inning grand slam. Kris Bryant extended his hitting streak to 13 games with a double.
Brian Bogusevic was 0-for-2 with a walk and a stolen base in Mesa’s 5-4 loss to the Rangers. It was Bogusevic’s second rehab game. Kevin Brown had two hits and scored two runs.
Iowa had Wednesday off and opens a series against Fresno on Thursday. Kyle Hendricks makes his first start for the Triple-A team.
Tennessee had Wednesday off, and returns to action Thursday against Montgomery. Eduardo Figueroa was scheduled to start.
C.J. Edwards gave up one hit over one inning in Daytona’s 6-5, 10-inning loss to Clearwater. Wes Darvill hit his third home run. Zeke DeVoss reached base five times, collecting three hits and two walks.
Jeimer Candelario had two hits, including a triple, and one RBI in Kane County’s 7-4 win over Burlington.
Boise had Wednesday off and returns to action Thursday against Vancouver. Paul Blackburn gets the start.
Trey McNutt threw one inning for Mesa in an 11-4 win over the Brewers. Alberto Mineo had three RBI and two hits.
Nick Struck gave up four runs over 5 1/3 innings in Iowa’s 4-3 loss to Oklahoma. Ty Wright had three hits, all doubles, and one RBIs.
Javier Baez hit two home runs but it wasn’t enough as Tennessee lost 8-5 to Birmingham. Eric Jokisch gave up six runs over five innings and took the loss. Rubi Silva, John Andreoli and Matt Szczur each had two hits.
C.J. Edwards struck out the first seven batters he faced in his Cubs debut, helping Daytona beat Palm Beach, 2-1. Edwards finished with eight Ks over five innings and gave up one hit and walked one. Taiwan Easterling and Brad Zapenas each had two hits.
Juan Paniagua gave up three runs over two innings in Kane County’s 6-3 win over Peoria. Rock Shoulder had two hits and three RBIs. Albert Almora had two hits, and has hit in five straight games.
Dillon Maples gave up one run over five innings in Boise’s 3-1 win over Spokane, Maples struck out five and did not walk a batter. Kris Bryant homered for the second time in three games, driving in all of the Hawks runs with his blast.
Charcer Burks hda two hits in Mesa’s 12-3 loss to the Diamondbacks. Mesa gave up nine runs in the first three innings.
Javier Baez hit two home runs but it wasn’t enough as Tennessee lost 8-5 to Birmingham on Sunday. Baez hit a two-run homer in the first and a two-run shot in the ninth. After batting .274 with 17 home runs at Class A Daytona this year, Baez now is batting .232 with 10 home runs with the Double-A Smokies.
C.J. Edwards had quite a debut Sunday at Daytona. The right-hander struck out the first seven batters he faced, and finished with eight Ks over five scoreless innings, giving up one hit and walking one in a 2-1 win over Palm Beach. The Cubs acquired Edwards in the Matt Garza deal with the Rangers.