Jay Allen Sanford 9:45 p.m., May 19
Andrew Cashner will make the start Thursday night for the San Diego Padres, as they play the final game of a four-game series against the Houston Astros in Houston. The Padres took the first game against the Astros but have dropped the last two games, including suffering a 1-0 shutout on Wednesday. The Padres have won four games and lost six of the last ten they have played.
Cashner, now 25 years old, came to the Padres in a trade with the Chicago Cubs, where the Cubs got Anthony Rizzo in return. Rizzo came to the Padres with other minor league prospects from the Boston Red Sox in exchange for Adrian Gonzales.
With only two major league starts under his belt in his major league career, Cashner was sent down to Padres AA affiliate San Antonio Missions in order to stretch out and get used to pitching multiple innings as a starter. He also worked on spotting his fastball, and on hitting. This is Cashner's first career opportunity in the big league to become a regular starting pitcher in the rotation; except for the two starts, one with the Padres and one with the Cubs, Cashner has pitched in relief.
Cashner's major league record is 5 wins against 9 losses with an earned run average of 4.15 in 93 and a third innings. His fastball tops 100 miles per hour, complimented by a good slider and a change-up that he is developing nicely. In three minor league starts before being recalled, Cashner pitched three and a third, five, and then six innings with an earned run average of 1.88 in the three starts. He recorded two wins, striking out 22 batters in 14 and a third innings.
Tonight's game is scheduled to start at 5:05 PM PDST, and can be seen on Fox Sports San Diego or heard on XX 1090 AM. Conventional thinking is that by converting Cashner to a starter now rather than waiting until the off-season will give Andrew a start on next season. But the move is obviously dictated by the fact that the Padres are not competing well in the division this season, and much of what is done from now until the end of the 2012 campaign will be executed in order to give the club more of a chance next season.
Converting Cashner to a starter now may pay dividends in 2013.