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Cubs reliever Carl Edwards Jr. goes on injured list after slipping on flight of stairs

Chicago Tribune logo Chicago Tribune 4/18/2019 By Mark Gonzales, Chicago Tribune
a crowd of people watching a baseball game: Chicago Cubs relief pitcher Carl Edwards Jr. works against the Cincinnati Reds during the ninth inning on September 16, 2018, at Wrigley Field in Chicago. © Nuccio DiNuzzo/Chicago Tribune/TNS Chicago Cubs relief pitcher Carl Edwards Jr. works against the Cincinnati Reds during the ninth inning on September 16, 2018, at Wrigley Field in Chicago.

Reliever Carl Edwards Jr. won’t return to the Cubs anytime soon.

Edwards scraped his right hand while trying to brace himself after slipping on a flight of stairs Tuesday. The damage was severe enough to force Edwards to Triple-A Iowa’s seven-day injured list.

This was the latest setback for Edwards, whom the Cubs were counting on to provide late-inning stability.

Edwards was told shortly after the start of the season that the pause in his revamped delivery was illegal, and he never found his rhythm afterward. He was charged with six runs on five walks and three hits in 1 2/3 innings over three appearances and was demoted to Iowa.

On Tuesday, Major League Baseball confirmed it was investigating racist messages sent to Edwards in the wake of his struggles.

Edwards posted a 2.25 ERA in three appearances with Iowa, striking out three and walking one in four innings.

Meanwhile, left-hander Mike Montgomery struck out four while pitching two scoreless innings in his first minor-league rehab appearance Wednesday for Class-A South Bend.

Montgomery, making his first appearance since being placed on the IL on April 5 because of a left lat strain, allowed a single to James Outman of Great Lakes with two out in the second. Montgomery threw 19 of 27 pitches for strikes.

Reliever Xavier Cedeno will make his first rehab appearance Thursday night for Double-A Tennessee. Cedeno hasn’t pitched since injuring his left wrist in February.

Bullpen battles back: After posting a 9.51 ERA in its first eight games, the Cubs bullpen has rebounded with a 1.00 ERA in its last eight games entering play Wednesday.

The only runs allowed during the last eight games occurred on Saturday when the bullpen issued seven walks.

“We have to attack the strike zone to be successful,” manager Joe Maddon said. “We continue to encourage these guys to challenge the hitters. The walks are what put us behind the proverbial 8-ball.”

With closer Brandon Morrow on the IL, Maddon has placed greater trust in Brandon Kintzler in late-inning situations like Tuesday when he induced a double play grounder in the eighth.

“He changed his delivery to the point where it will benefit him for several years,” said Maddon, adding that Kintzler has worked well with new pitching coach Tommy Hottovy.

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