Cubs right-handed reliever Carl Edwards Jr. has been demoted to Triple-A Iowa, per multiple reports on Saturday. While surprising, it’s not a wholly unexpected move from a club nursing a six-game losing streak. The last game the Cubs won was their road opener in Texas on March 28, and their 1-6 record already points to a disturbing forecast for the rest of their 2019 campaign.
Part of their troubles can be traced back to their pitching staff; per FanGraphs, the Cubs rank second-worst in the league with an 8.32 ERA, 7.01 FIP, and -1.0 fWAR through their last seven games. Edwards, too, has struggled to replicate the low ERA and high strikeout numbers that have characterized his last few seasons with the team. So far, he’s given up six runs on three hits and five walks over his first four performances in 2019.
As of Saturday afternoon, the Cubs have yet to officially confirm the demotion or announce any corresponding moves, though southpaw Mike Montgomery is reportedly headed for the injured list with a shoulder issue. Without Edwards, Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun Times reports that the team will turn to right-hander Allen Webster and lefty Kyle Ryan for their Saturday matchup with the Brewers. Neither Webster nor Allen has recorded more than two innings of work with Triple-A Iowa this season.