"It's amazing what confidence does for human beings."
Joe Maddon said he's all about the "psychobabble" and could probably teach a psychology class at one of Chicago's universities on his off time.
The Cubs manager instead channels his psychological knowledge into handling the organization's plethora of young players, including Carl Edwards Jr., whom Maddon was speaking about with the above quote.
In a farm system filled with position players, Edwards has been one of the lone bright spots among young pitchers since coming over to the Cubs from the Texas Rangers in the Matt Garza deal.
Edwards is in his second stint with the big-league club this season and looks like a completely different pitcher.
"Confidence. Major-league confidence," Maddon said. "He's learning that he belongs here right now. And command. His fastball's been a strike, so that's really important.
"The fact that he's throwing strikes and I think that's partly because he is confident. It's amazing what confidence does for human beings, what it does for whatever we attempt to do.
"So that's where he's at. He's a confident, young major-league pitcher right now that I think finally believes he belongs here."
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Edwards only made five appearances with the Cubs last season, allowing three runs in 4.2 innings.
But this season, he's posting a 1.50 ERA and 0.75 WHIP in 12 innings, striking out 14 batters.
That looks more in line with the guy who sports a career 2.21 ERA and 11.4 strikeouts per nine innings in the minor leagues.
The 24-year-old right-hander agreed with his manager's assessment that he feels like he belongs in the big leagues now.
"I feel like as long as I go out there each and every day and go right after guys and don't be afraid, then I'd have good outcomes," Edwards said. "I think last year, I was very, very nervous. I'm still nervous now, but I can control it.
"Last year, I was kinda afraid to get hit and kinda afraid to compete. But this year, just getting that experience and getting another chance at big-league camp this spring and then coming up here, I feel like if I go out and continue to attack hitters and let my defense work behind me, then I can continue to have success."
Edwards said he knows he has to keep this same mindset and approach going in order to have success, but he has no intentions of going back down to the minor leagues.
In his mind, Edwards is here to stay, saying he wants to remain in the majors until whenever he decides to retire.
Edwards has been getting opportunities in more high-profile spots of late, earning a hold in the Cubs' final game of the first half and then tossing a perfect seventh inning in Friday's win over the Texas Rangers.
He also got the call to pitch the ninth inning of the Cubs' 5-1 win over the New York Mets Monday night. Maddon wanted the young right-hander to feel what it's like to walk off the mound after closing out the game in the ninth, even if it was a non-save situation.
But after Edwards induced a ground-out to start the inning, he gave up back-to-back singles through the shift in the Cubs' infield and Maddon called upon closer Hector Rondon to shut the door.
Maddon has noticed the life on Edwards' pitches and sees the hitters' reactions, but he knows caution is key here.
"This kid, we need to treat him properly," Maddon said. "Can't abuse him at all.
"We gotta break him in right. Meaning you cannot overuse a young fella like this. If we treat this well, he'll be really good at the end of the season, also. That's important."