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Edwards returns from DL to fill late-inning role

Relievers Maples, Zastryzny optioned to Triple-A Iowa
MLB.com

CHICAGO -- Carl Edwards Jr. returned to the mound for the first time in over a month and struck out Adam Duvall for the final out of the seventh in the Cubs' 3-2 loss to the Reds on Friday at Wrigley Field. He was lifted for a pinch-hitter in the bottom of the inning.

The Cubs activated the 26-year-old right-hander, who hadn't pitched since May 29 because of shoulder inflammation, from the 10-day disabled list on Friday.

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CHICAGO -- Carl Edwards Jr. returned to the mound for the first time in over a month and struck out Adam Duvall for the final out of the seventh in the Cubs' 3-2 loss to the Reds on Friday at Wrigley Field. He was lifted for a pinch-hitter in the bottom of the inning.

The Cubs activated the 26-year-old right-hander, who hadn't pitched since May 29 because of shoulder inflammation, from the 10-day disabled list on Friday.

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Edwards, who said before the game that he feels 100 percent healthy, was originally scheduled to make two appearances during his rehab assignment with Triple-A Iowa, but a third one ended up being necessary after he retired just two of the five batters he faced in his second outing on Monday.

"It's great to have him back," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said before the game. "I know on rehab he had some tough innings, but I'm not really concerned about that. We've got to get him back out there in a Major League game. He just told me he feels wonderful, so he's ready to rock and roll."

Edwards isn't worried about how he fared in Iowa, even though his third appearance wasn't great either -- he gave up a hit and a walk, hit a batter and recorded a strikeout over two-thirds of an inning.

"Just to get out on the mound and face hitters," Edwards said. "That was my whole goal, and just to see how I'd feel afterward."

Including Friday, Edwards has a 2.84 ERA with 41 strikeouts over 25 1/3 innings spanning 26 outings. His presence in a late-inning role provides more depth to a Cubs bullpen that already features closer Brandon Morrow and right-handers Pedro Strop and Steve Cishek.

The Cubs optioned right-hander Dillon Maples to Triple-A in a corresponding move, and left-hander Rob Zastryzny was activated from the DL and optioned to Iowa.

Zastryzny had been out with a back strain since June 24. He posted a 1.69 ERA in five relief outings with the Cubs this year. Maples gave up five earned runs in 2 2/3 innings over two relief outings for the Cubs.

Worth noting
Chris Gimenez cleared waivers and was assigned to Triple-A. The Cubs designated the 35-year-old catcher for assignment on Wednesday. He batted .143 in 12 games with the Cubs.

• The Cubs announced Friday they have signed 32 selections from the 2018 Draft, including each of their first 20 picks. The most recent signings include infielder Andy Weber (fifth round), left-hander Josh Sawyer (16th round), right-hander Jake Reindl (17th round), right-hander Niels Stone (27th round) and outfielder Edmond Americaan (35th round).

Matthew Martell is a reporter for MLB.com based in Chicago.

Chicago Cubs, Carl Edwards Jr.