If you're confused as to why the Cubs would be calling up the back-flipping, NASCAR star to their Major League roster this morning, I can hardly blame you.
It's not because the proven winner just stole the storied Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway yesterday. It's also not because of his ability to generate MPH (though if his pitching arm is as fast as his Toyota Camry, that'd be something. In fact, it has nothing to do with this Carl Edwards at all.
This case of mistaken identity is centered around the Cubs' pitching prospect formerly known as C.J. Edwards:
You see, the highly-touted arm decided to go by his given first name, Carl, instead of using C.J. (which stood for Carl Jr.). Melvin Upton, eat your heart out.
Seeing as from about 2000 until 2005, I watched NASCAR religiously every Sunday and still follow casually to this day, my mind first wanders to the race car driver before the Cub prospect when I hear this name. Maybe I'm the only one, but whatevs.
Back to the matter at hand, "The Stringbean Slinger" was added as bullpen depth this morning and will soon make his MLB debut. Acquired in the Matt Garza trade with Texas in 2013 that also produced Justin Grimm, Neil Ramirez and Mike Olt (wowzer!), he stands 6'3," 170 lbs. Hence his moniker and the concerns about his durability.
His live-arm makes him an interesting bullpen piece, where he's been working all year in AA and AAA. Control has been an issue (41 walks in 51.1 IP), but he's missed bats at an impressive clip (75 Ks). At any rate, it'll be nice to see what the Cubs have here in a late-season trial.
I have had two cards sitting at the ready to go into the CATRC in anticipation of this call-up, the Breakouts insert from 2013 Bowman that you saw at the top of this post and the 2013 Minor League Heritage piece you see above.
The Breakouts card will be going into the master binder, seeing as it depicts him in a Cubs uniform; plus, I just like black borders. Meanwhile, the Heritage card will be inserted into my burgeoning "Cubs as minor-leaguers" collection, for which I have yet to come up with a snappy name. Suggestions welcome.
Sidenote - the Garza trade went down on July 22, 2013. The 2013 edition of Heritage Minors hit shelves on September 11. Why in the world is C.J. or Carl or the artist formerly known as Prince still listed on a Rangers' minor league affiliate? Little slow on the uptake there, huh Topps?
Good grief, is he gangly or what?
Image courtesy of Vineline
That is, if the Northsiders can keep the Cards team from creeping back into this game. Due to their obvious deal with the devil, you really can't ever count them out.
Anyway, that wraps up today's post - go back outside and enjoy a cold one and a burger and celebrate your day off. I'll go back to praying the Cubs don't screw this one up.