Mooney: Cubs being careful with Pena

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Mooney: Cubs being careful with Pena

Tuesday, April 5, 2011
Posted: 12:52 p.m.

By Patrick Mooney
CSNChicago.com

Carlos Pena emerged from the training room on Tuesday with his right hand bandaged, keeping it compressed so his thumb doesnt swell up.

The pain isnt overwhelming, but the Cubs are being cautious with their first baseman. Pena is listed as day-to-day with a mild sprain of his right thumb, though manager Mike Quade could use him as a pinch-hitter on Tuesday against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

I told Q, 'If you need me, let me know, because Im ready to go,' Pena said.

In place of the Gold Glove defender, Tyler Colvin will bat fifth and make his first start at first base.

Pena thinks he injured his thumb during the seventh inning of Mondays 4-1 win over the Diamondbacks. After fielding the ball and tossing it to pitcher Sean Marshall, who was covering first base, Pena braced for the fall and landed awkwardly on his glove hand, bending his thumb back.

Pena wants to play Wednesday in the series finale, but with an off-day scheduled for Thursday, it could make more sense to give him some extra time to heal.

PatrickMooney is CSNChicago.com's Cubs beat writer. FollowPatrick on Twitter @CSNMooneyfor up-to-the-minute Cubs news and views.

Definitive proof that Carl Edwards Jr. is one of the filthiest pitchers on the planet

Definitive proof that Carl Edwards Jr. is one of the filthiest pitchers on the planet

Carl Edwards Jr. didn't get a save or a win Monday night, but he was easily the most impressive pitcher on the field for the Cubs.

The 25-year-old right-hander came on in the sixth inning in relief of Eddie Butler and carved through the heart of the Nationals order, needing only 13 pitches to strike out Brian Goodwin, Bryce Harper and Ryan Zimmerman.

For starters, Joe Maddon deserves plenty of credit for deploying Edwards in an integral spot, even if it was so early in the game. But the Cubs were clinging to a 1-0 lead at the time and Maddon didn't want Butler to face the Washington order for a third time, so Edwards was the call to keep things close.

And that's exactly what Edwards did in dominant fashion. It was the fourth time this season he struck out three batters in an inning, but in the previous instances, he needed at least 16 pitches to do so.

Here is the complete sequence from Edwards to the three helpless Nats (for one inning, at least):

Harper was also locked in at the plate at the time, as it was his only strikeout in the last two games in which he's collected six hits in eight at-bats.

Edwards has been rolling this season with a 1.72 ERA and sparkling 0.82 WHIP. He has 44 strikeouts in 31.1 innings, ranking 18th in baseball in K/9 (12.64).

Since giving up three runs in an outing June 14 against the Mets, Edwards has not allowed a run in five innings, striking out seven batters and surrendering only two singles and a pair of walks.

Kyle Schwarber has rocky start to Triple-A stint

Kyle Schwarber has rocky start to Triple-A stint

The Cubs gave Kyle Schwarber time to sort things out by sending him down to Triple-A Iowa, and Schwarber's first game back in the minors shows he may need some time.

Schwarber's first game with the Iowa Cubs was a forgettable one. He struck out in his first three plate appearances before singling in his last at-bat. He struck out looking in the first inning before striking out swinging his next two times up.

Schwarber batted third in the lineup and played left field. Iowa won 1-0 against the New Orleans Baby Cakes.

He last played for Iowa in 2015, but only spent 17 games there. He hit .333 with three homers and a 1.036 OPS in that short stint. Before getting sent down Schwarber was hitting .171 with the Cubs with 12 home runs, but also 75 strikeouts in 64 games.