Cubs

Coleman hopes to make a lasting impression

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Coleman hopes to make a lasting impression

Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2011Posted: 2:00 a.m.

By Patrick Mooney
CSNChicago.com Cubs Insider Follow @CSNMooney
SAN DIEGO Casey Coleman hopes to be better for the experience, though everyone knows chances like this dont come around very often.

The Cubs viewed Coleman as the ideal insurance policy to stash at Triple-A Iowa. They didnt give him many innings during spring training, and certainly didnt foresee two starting pitchers getting injured during the first week of the season.

Nothing, it seems, has gone according to plan this year. It ended for Coleman on Monday night inside spacious PETCO Park, where the Cubs lost to the San Diego Padres 2-0 while you were following the Ozzie GuillenWhite Sox drama on the South Side.

The Cubs could have a completely new management team evaluating Coleman this winter. He didnt exactly build off his 2010 finish 4-2 with a 3.33 ERA in eight starts late last season but then again you could say the same thing about the entire organization.

Once Randy Wells and Andrew Cashner went on the disabled list, the Cubs had to go out and sign Doug Davis off the street (and release him several weeks later) and acquire Rodrigo Lopez from Atlantas Triple-A affiliate.

Coleman is only 24 years old. His father and grandfather both pitched in the big leagues. With the poise, intelligence and athleticism hes shown at times, he should stay in the picture. But he didnt nail down a big-league job this season.

Coleman cruised through five shutout innings on Monday and then broke up Mat Latos no-hitter by tripling in the sixth. He was winded when he gave up a home run to Will Venable and two doubles in the bottom half of the inning.

Its been a long year, said Coleman, who was charged with two runs in 5.2 innings. I didnt handle it the right way. I went in the dugout, rested a little bit. But as soon as I got on the mound, I didnt settle myself down. I got a little dizzy out there. (You) got to slow yourself down.

In an up-and-down season, Coleman had four separate stints with the big-league club and went 5-2 with a 3.65 ERA in 12 starts at Triple-A Iowa. He flashed signs of potential, shutting down the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field and beating the Milwaukee Brewers in September. His final line reads 3-9 with a 6.40 ERA.

Just a learning experience, Coleman said. It definitely gives me more confidence going into spring training next year.

Last August, Coleman earned his first major-league victory on the same night Mike Quade got his first win as a major-league manager. For the moment, Quade is the longest-tenured manager in Chicago, and all the heat will be on the South Side.

I know its been rough over there, Quade said. Thats a whole different world that I have no interest in getting involved in. We got enough stuff to deal with over here.

Patrick Mooney is CSNChicago.com's Cubs beat writer. Follow Patrick on Twitter @CSNMooney for up-to-the-minute Cubs news and views.

Cubs could get another bullpen boost soon as Carl Edwards Jr. nears return

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USA TODAY

Cubs could get another bullpen boost soon as Carl Edwards Jr. nears return

Cole Hamels is still likely more than a week away from returning, but the Cubs could get another arm back soon to help augment the pitching staff.

Carl Edwards Jr. threw another outing Tuesday night with Triple-A Iowa, his fourth appearance on this latest rehab assignment while recovering from a left thoracic strain. 

The 27-year-old righty allowed two hits and a walk in a scoreless inning, notching all three outs on strikeouts. He also pitched Saturday and on July 1st and 4th before Iowa also hit their midseason break. He last pitched in the big leagues on June 9.

"CJ's progressing well," Cubs pitching coach Tommy Hottovy said. "He's feeling better every time out. Good CJ stuff [Tuesday] — fastball's got some carry, some cut to it. He's feeling good."

As for what comes next, the Cubs don't have a plan in place yet. That will depend on how Edwards continues to feel after his latest outing.

"The one thing with him has been the rebound," Hottovy said. "We talk about the recovery that next day, he's had a couple days where he's like, 'yeah I feel good.' And a couple days where it's like, 'ah, I need another day.' 

"So that's always a thing you want to do with relievers is make sure their recovery and their rebound is there. The last thing you want to do have a guy come up and he pitches and then you can't use him for 2 or 3 days. We just gotta make sure we hit all those checkpoints as well."

Edwards got off to a rough start and struggled toward the end of the 2018 season, but he's a huge piece to the Cubs bullpen puzzle and he was dynamic upon his return from minor-league demotion earlier this year.

From his first outing after being called back up (May 6) until the injury hit (June 9), Edwards surrendered only 3 earned runs on 4 hits and 3 walks against 15 strikeouts in 13.1 innings — good for a 2.03 ERA and 0.525 WHIP.

As the Cubs look to bolster their bullpen ahead of the MLB trade deadline in two weeks, Edwards looms as another addition given his ability to neutralize both right-handed and left-handed hitters and induce weak contact when he's on.

Of course, there's obviously some inherent risk in counting on Edwards to be a reliable piece of the bullpen given the way the last couple years have gone. But if he's healthy and pitching the way he had for a full month before the injury, that's a nice option the Cubs can fold into their bullpen alongside Craig Kimbrel, Pedro Strop, Steve Cishek, Brandon Kintzler and Kyle Ryan.

Yu Darvish finally has his first win at Wrigley

Yu Darvish finally has his first win at Wrigley

Yu Darvish blew a 98 mph fastball by Yasiel Puig, pumped his fist emphatically and let out a primal yell as he walked off the mound while 37,260 fans at Wrigley Field backed him up with maybe the loudest "YUUUU!!!" chant of the season.

It was the final pitch he threw on the afternoon as he completely dismantled the Reds lineup in a 4-2 Cubs victory.

"How 'bout it? Good for him," Joe Maddon said. "Yu just keeps trending in the right direction. That last out, he pretty much — as they say — emptied the tank and it worked out pretty well.

"The people yelling for him coming off the field was awesome and I know he feels that in a positive way and he deserves it."

Since the All-Star Break, Darvish leads Major League Baseball in ERA — he hasn't allowed a run in 12 innings while striking out 15 and giving up only 4 hits and a walk. 

Oh yeah, and he finally picked up his first Wrigley Field win in a Cubs uniform...in his 14th start at the Friendly Confines (28 starts overall).

"It's amazing," Darvish said. "First win at Wrigley — I was always looking for that first win."

In both outings to start the second half, he took a no-hitter into the fifth inning and they're also the only two scoreless starts he has as a member of the Cubs (he gave up 0 earned run April 27 last year against the Brewers, but was charged with an unearned run).

The last time Darvish went back-to-back outings with at least 6 scoreless innings was April 2014, his final season before Tommy John surgery.

The Cubs are now 5-1 since the All-Star Break on the heels of their starting rotation, which has churned out a quality start in each of the six second-half games.