ST.LOUIS -- Yes, the Chicago Cubs debuted yet another rookie who could have an impact in a surprising run to the playoffs this season.
Carl -- formerly known as CJ -- Edwards took the mound on Monday afternoon in the eighth inning of a 9-0 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals that drew the Cubs closer to the top wild-card spot and the division. The inning had little meaning in the outcome of the game but plenty for the 24-year-old from South Carolina.
"It's shocking and very exciting," Edwards said after the game. "When I pulled up I was like, ‘Oh god, OK this is where I'm at.'"
The lanky right-hander walked the leadoff hitter but induced two ground balls to get through the inning rather quickly. In the stands were his parents, who flew for the first time ever so they could see their son reach his dream.
"When I walked off I tipped my cap to my dad and my mom," Edwards said. "It was exciting."
It's exciting for the Cubs' bullpen to add an "impactful" arm, as manager Joe Maddon described it before the game. Edwards has nasty stuff and is fresh considering he was a starter his whole career until this season. The transition to reliever took some time but Edwards thinks he's ready for the challenge of a pennant race.
"I had to change my expectations," Edwards of becoming a reliever. "I can truly say I accomplished getting here like I wanted to."
Edwards has a fun/laid back personality and will fit in nicely with Maddon and a Anthony Rizzo-led locker room. Upon arriving he was basically told to just be himself. It helped him relax.
"I can breathe," he joked. "I can have fun."
"I just want to help these guys win, is my goal. You never know what could happen."