MILWAUKEE -- The sighs of relief around Cubs camp were almost audible Friday.
The organization learned that top pitching prospect C.J. Edwards has only fatigue and inflammation in his right shoulder, but no structural damage.
Edwards, 22, has been pitching at Class AA Tennessee, but the Cubs were concerned enough to bring him to Chicago for a doctor's exam and an MRI after he felt fatigued during a recent bullpen session.
"Tremendous sigh of relief," said Cubs manager Rick Renteria, who got to see Edwards in spring training. "Everything was sound."
The Cubs say it's likely Edwards will be shut down for two weeks before he begins throwing. At Tennessee, he is 1-0 with a 2.61 ERA and a 1.06 WHIP. The Cubs obtained him last July from the Texas Rangers along with Mike Olt, Justin Grimm and Neil Ramirez for Matt Garza, who pitched Friday night for the Brewers against the Cubs.
Depending on who's ranking prospects, Edwards checks in as the organization's top pitcher in the minor leagues. He has a slender body type at 6-feet-2 and 155 pounds.
Renteria was asked if he believes Edwards can handle a load of 200 innings a year.
"A lot is talked about with pitch counts and things of that nature and how you limit young men's arms," he said. "As they say, there are only so many bullets in there. The hope is that ultimately, he'll be able to do something like that. He's a lean, tall leveraged-body pitcher.
"Hopefully he's able to maintain his strength and do what he's capable of doing."
Limited playing time:
Second baseman Darwin Barney has found starts hard to come by as the Cubs rotate him with Emilio Bonifacio and Luis Valbuena. Barney entered Friday having played in 16 of 21 games, starting 10.
"I think it's making sure we get Luis' bat in there," Rick Renteria said. "Obviously, Barney's play has been sporadic, but he's an individual that in tight ballgames, we can defend. We can still use him. He's a tremendous defender.
"He's a tremendously valuable person for us, and I don't want people to lose sight of that. He's a valuable asset to us."
Reliever Jose Veras, who is off to a rough start, is battling a sore left oblique.
"He's been working really hard," Rick Renteria said. "I think it's probably a little soreness. You guys have seen him. He's a very hard worker. We'll monitor it."
Entering Friday, Veras had an ERA of 15.88. He had given up 6 hits and 10 walks in 5⅔ innings. He lost his closer's job in the first days of the season.