It was the news that we were hoping we wouldn't get, but just before game time, the Cubs announced that they were placing center fielder and leadoff hitter Dexter Fowler on the disabled list and calling up reliever Carl Edwards Jr. to take his spot on the roster.
Fowler re-signed with the Cubs on a one-year deal in a dramatic spring training signing. Since then, Fowler has been one of the best leadoff hitters in baseball, hitting .290/.398/.483 and is one of the leaders in the voting for the All-Star Game.
Edwards is making his second trip to the majors after a September call-up last year. In 24 outings for Iowa this season, he's pitched 25.1 innings and has posted an ERA of 4.26. He's recorded 35 strikeouts in those 25 innings and has held opposing hitters to a .185 batting average. It's clear what his problem has been in Triple-A as he's walked 17 batters in those 25 innings.
Edwards was the Cubs 13th ranked prospect according to Baseball America coming into this season.
With Albert Almora Jr. and Chris Coghlan joining the team recently, the Cubs no doubt felt the outfield is well-covered, even without Fowler. In fact, Almora is starting tonight in center field. But the bullpen has been shaky before Strop and Rondon and the Cubs no doubt hope that Edwards can serve as a serviceable right-handed middle reliever.
It seems unlikely that Fowler will miss much more than the minimum 15 days, as the Cubs waited until the last moment to make this move. If Edwards pitches well, he's likely to stick around instead of some of the other struggling relievers.