For Now, Cubs Operating With One Lefty In Bullpen

The Cubs are still searching for a lefty reliever on the trade market.

Bruce Levine
July 19, 2019 - 1:49 pm

(670 The Score) After optioning Randy Rosario to Triple-A Iowa on Friday to make room for Carl Edwards Jr.'s return from the injured list, the Cubs are down to one lefty in their bullpen in Kyle Ryan

That question mark figures to be addressed by the time the trade deadline passes on July 31, as the Cubs front office continues to scour the market for lefty relievers.

The Giants' Tony Watson and Will Smith are two of the most-sought after lefty relievers on the trade market. The Giants have a top scout in Chicago evaluating Cubs players this weekend for a possible trade match.

In the meantime, Cubs manager Joe Maddon may have to rely on Edwards to match up against some lefties. Edwards has held lefties to a .171 batting average and .535 OPS in his big league career.

"We have got to get Carl out there and let it fly," Maddon said. "I just want to see him go out and pitch."

Edwards is ready for the test.

"I certainly have done it before," Edwards said. "We all have to try and get groundballs. We can get anybody out is how I look at it."

Thanks to strong starting pitching, the Cubs' bullpen has throw only 314 1/3 innings, the fourth-fewest in MLB. That bodes well for Maddon and the bullpen moving forward.

Of course, so would one more addition.

"It's always nice to have more than one (lefty)," Maddon said. "I can't deny that. When Carl is right, he is able to mitigate all of that. He gets the pinch-hitter as well when you bring him in to get a tough right-handed hitter. When you get to the end of the year and you have to face a lot of left-handed-hitting, it helps (to have multiple lefties in the bullpen)."

Bruce Levine covers the Cubs and White Sox for 670 The Score. Follow him on Twitter @MLBBruceLevine​.