The Rundown: C.J. Edwards Starts in the AFL, TV Deal Looms Large

The Arizona Fall League is stocked with top hitting prospects. But sometimes teams are hesitant to send their pitching prospects for fear of overuse.

The Cubs, however, have sent one of their top minor league pitchers in C.J. Edwards. After missing most of 2014 with a shoulder injury (he made only 10 starts in Double-A), Edwards will be on display against some tough hitters in the AFL.

Edwards, who was a main piece in the Matt Garza trade last year, got the start for the Mesa Solar Sox on Friday. He went 2 innings, giving up three hits and one run. Zach Cates and Gerardo Concepcion also made appearances for the Sox, who lost 14-3.

Josh Norris was impressed with Edwards, saying he was hitting 92-95 mph.

The question with Edwards is whether he will stick as a starter. He has a slight frame and some wonder if he will be durable enough to start.

Carrie Muskat wrote an interesting piece on Edwards a couple of days ago, pointing out that he has his sights set on reaching the majors in 2015. I could see the Cubs easing him in with a role in the bullpen late in the season. Hopefully in the midst of a run for the post-season.

Importance of the TV deal

The Cubs hosted its annual Rah Rah Party, aka Season-Ticket Holder Event, on Friday afternoon. Patrick Mooney writes that the Cubs are in the “extra innings” of TV negotiations, according to Crane Kenney.

The upcoming TV deal is going to be huge for the Cubs; Theo Epstein called it the “magic bullet” to put the team on a whole new level.

The deal likely won’t take effect for another couple years, but it sounds like the Cubs are in good shape for the upcoming winter too. They should have the resources to be players on big-name free agents, assuming it’s the right fit. (The Cubs won’t act desperate.)

It’s easy to get excited reading the quotes from Epstein, especially because that’s really the point of the Season-Ticket Holder Event.

But since the rebuild began, I feel like it’s finally about time for us to get excited for real.

Royals take first game of ALCS

Another Royals playoff game, another entertaining extra-innings victory. Kansas City starter James Shields didn’t have his best stuff on Friday and squandered an early lead.

But the Royals bullpen kept them in it, as usual, and they were able to hang around until the top of the 10th, when they got home runs from Alex Gordon and Mike Moustakas.

Greg Holland made it interesting in the bottom half of the inning, but the Royals came away with the 8-6 win.

It was nice to have baseball back after a couple of days off. The Royals have really been a pleasure to watch this post-season.

Other notes

* The Pirates made an offer to re-sign catcher Russell Martin at some point during the season, according to Jon Heyman. It’s not known what the Pirates offered, but Martin is now set for a nice payday in free agency.

We have discussed here that Martin might be a good option for the Cubs behind the plate, and Heyman mentions the Cubs as possible suitors. Martin, 31, hit .290/.402/.430 on the year, with 11 home runs. Would you like to see him at catcher for the Cubs next season?

* Rob Bradford, out of Boston, writes that the Red Sox may be considering Bill Mueller to be their hitting coach next year. It would be interesting if Mueller took the job, as one of the reasons given for Mueller resigning from the Cubs was that he didn’t enjoy all of the travel. (Another reason was the removal of Mike Brumley from the assistant hitting coach position.)

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