Andrew Cashner is a young pitcher on the rise. Drafted in the 1st round with the 18th pick by the Chicago Cubs, he started moving up through the Cubs minor league system. In his 3 years in the Cubs minor league system, he only gave up 3 home runs while displaying a fastball clocked at 95 plus MPH. He was called up in May 2010 and spent the season in the bullpen. In 2011, he won a spot in the Cubs rotation but a rotator cuff injury caused him to miss most of 2011 season. On January 6, 2012, he was traded to the San Diego Padres for Anthony Rizzo. Andrew started the season in the bullpen and was then sent to AA San Antonio to work his arm strength up to become a starting pitcher. Arm injuries once again crept up on the tall Texan and he was shut down in September. Andrew began the 2013 season in the bullpen but has now moved into the starting rotation for good. His last start before this writing saw Andrew beat the Giants and Tim Lincecum 2-1. Andrew pitched 6 innings giving up 1 run with a walk and 5 strikeouts. At the plate, he hit a single, stole second and scored the tying run. With a fastball clocked as high as 97, Andrew appears to have finally settled into a permanent spot in the rotation.
Before Sunday’s game, Andrew was signing autographs for fans who were eating breakfast on the outfield warning path. I walked up to Andrew and asked him who his favorite player was and why and without hesitation he said, “Nolan Ryan, I just grew up watching him and that’s who I saw as a kid and he was always on TV.”
My hope and desire is Andrew Cashner becomes as good as his favorite player because if he does, the Padres will have a great starter for years to come.
*Photo courtesy of TheBaseballPHD