MLB Investigating Racist Messages Sent to Cubs' Carl Edwards Jr. on Social Media

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistApril 16, 2019

CINCINNATI, OH - MAY 19:  Carl Edwards Jr. #6 of the Chicago Cubs pitches against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on May 19, 2018 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Carl Edwards Jr.
Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

Major League Baseball launched an investigation into racist messages sent to Chicago Cubs relief pitcher Carl Edwards Jr. on social media before he was demoted to the Triple-A Iowa Cubs on April 6.

On Tuesday, Patrick Mooney of The Athletic reported the comments caught the attention of MLB, the Cubs and the MLB Players Association.

"We are aware of the situation," a league spokesperson told Mooney. "We have a team that works with social media companies to take appropriate actions in situations like this."

Edwards struggled mightily during the 2019 season's early stages. He allowed six earned runs in just 1.2 innings (32.40 ERA) with three hits and five walks allowed across four appearances. It was a stunningly poor start for one of Chicago's most reliable bullpen options over the past three years.

The 27-year-old South Carolina native had been working on a new delivery during spring training before MLB informed him it was an illegal motion just before the regular season started.

"It would've been nice if they had told me in spring training, but it is what it is," Edwards told reporters. "It doesn't matter. I just went back to what I used to do."

The right-hander posted a career-best 2.60 ERA with 67 strikeouts in 52 innings last season for the Cubs.

He's shown signs of a return to form since his demotion to the minors, though the sample size remains small. He owns a 2.25 ERA in four innings with three strikeouts.

Edwards should return to the majors in short order based on his previous track record. For now, Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein provided a statement to The Athletic about the situation:

"We were shocked by the racist, profanity-laced social media message sent to Carl Edwards Jr. earlier this month. We vehemently condemn the content of the message and are supporting Major League Baseball's investigation to identify the person responsible.

"In a sport that celebrates diversity and unites people from all backgrounds, we are appalled anyone claiming to be a fan would send divisive and bigoted insults to a player. Whether spoken, posted or published, this type of reprehensible language and views cannot be tolerated in our game or society."

No timetable was provided for the completion of MLB's investigation.