Cubs' Carl Edwards Jr.: May not be next in line for saves
Manager Joe Maddon wouldn't commit to using Edwards as the Cubs' closer if Brandon Morrow (elbow) and Pedro Strop (hamstring) are both unavailable to begin the season, Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune reports. "[Edwards] is so good at maybe shutting something down in the seventh or eighth [inning], I would not run away from that," Maddon said of Edwards' potential future as a closer.
Morrow is already a safe bet to open the season on the injured list, but Strop's status is more in limbo since he's at least been able to throw off flat ground lately and could clear up any concern about his health by pitching in a Cactus League game or two before spring training closes. In the event Strops fails to progress as hoped, Edwards said he would be ready to fill the ninth-inning role if needed, but Maddon's comments suggest the Cubs could look elsewhere in save situations. With a 15.2 percent career swinging-strike rate, Edwards has often been dominant at times during his four season in the big leagues, but his occasional control problems may prompt Maddon to instead turn to Steve Cishek for save opportunities. Cishek typically works in the low-90s and doesn't overpower hitters like Edwards, but his ability to limit free passes and generate groundballs at a decent clip might make him a less volatile endgame option.
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