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Josh Bell “pumped” for Carl Edwards, Jr. to join the Nationals...

Nationals call up veteran reliever, who was with the Cubs in 2016 when Washington’s first baseman broke in with Pirates …

Washington Nationals Photo Day Photo by Adam Glanzman/MLB Photos via Getty Images

WASHINGTON – Carl Edwards, Jr. stood in front of his new locker here Tuesday afternoon, twirling his Nationals’ hat with his hands as he met with the local media.

After some eye-popping numbers with Triple-A Rochester, the veteran reliever was called up to Washington while fellow pitcher Andres Machado was sent to the Red Wings.

“I am pumped for him,” Nationals’ first baseman Josh Bell told Federal Baseball on Tuesday about Edwards. “He looked really good in Spring Training. He has an elite cutter.”

Bell made his Major League debut in 2016 with the Pirates against the Cubs and Edwards pitched in that game for Chicago.

“I’m really glad I don’t have to face him,” Bell said of Edwards, a native of South Carolina.

Edwards, 30, said before Tuesday’s game that his approach to this season made a huge difference, even after he didn’t make the Opening Day roster.

“Just have fun; just have fun with those guys” at Rochester, he said.

“I’ve lived and I’ve learned from the mistakes that I have made. I get to see the sun rise, I get to play baseball” for a living.

Washington manager Dave Martinez was a bench coach for the Cubs when Edwards recorded some big outs from the bullpen in postseason play as the Cubs won the World Series in 2016.

“Carl was really throwing the ball well,” at Rochester, Martinez said before the Nats began a three-game series against the Mets. “And I spoke to [Red Wings’] Matt LeCroy, and we felt like it was time to get him up here. He did everything we asked him to do, he checked all boxes. I think he can help us here.”

Edwards was drafted in the 48th round out of high school in 2011 by the Texas Rangers.

He made his Major League debut in 2015 with the Cubs and was with Chicago until going to the Padres during the 2019 season.

Edwards pitched for Seattle in 2020 then appeared with the Braves and Blue Jays last year for a total of seven games.

Edwards was also presented with his World Series ring by Atlanta last week before a game in Rochester for his role in being part of the Braves’ club last year.

For his career, Edwards is 9-8 in the majors with an ERA of 3.73 in 206 games with three saves.

“His curveball is really good; his cutter is his primary pitch,” Martinez said.

The reliever had an ERA of 0.63 and a WHIP of 0.49 for Rochester.

“His fastball command is what has separated himself from the last year or two,” Rochester manager Matt LeCroy told Federal Baseball in a telephone interview on Monday. “He has gotten a lot of swings and misses.”