Cashner Right On the Money at Fitch
Cubs 2008 #1 draft pick RHP Andrew Cashner (TCU) made his professional debut today, as the AZL Cubs edged the AZL A's 6-5 this morning at Fitch Park Field #3.
Cashner got the start and threw one inning, allowing one broken-bat opposite field single and one unearned run (the runner who reached base on the single came around to score on a stolen base, a passed ball, and an opposite field sac fly).
Cashner mixed a high-octane heater and biting slider in his one inning of work, striking out the first hitter he faced (looking) on an unhittable slider that crossed the outside corner, and the last hitter in the inning (swinging) on high heat. None of the A's hitters could get around on his pitches. They were behind on every swing.
All in all and probably not too surprisingly, I would say Cashner acquitted himself quite well in his pro debut (to say the least), and he is probably not too long for Fitch Park. He should be in Boise in very short order.
He looks to be every bit as good as advertised. He reminds me somewhat of Max Scherzer, although Scherzer is more advanced at this point. .
Offensively, the AZL Cubs juggernaut continued their offensive onslaught, as John Contreras, Nelson Perez, and Sean Hoorelbeke slammed back-to-back-to back solo home runs in the bottom of the 2nd, giving the Cubs a lead they would not relinquish.
In their next ABs, both Contreras and Perez were plunked in the back with pitches (apparently A's starter Anvioris Ramirez was none too pleased about the AZL Cubs three long flies the first time up) Fortunately the Cubs pitchers kept their cool and did not retaliate (at least not today...).
And so why do I call the AZL Cubs lineup a :"juggernaut"? I don't know. Maybe it's because Hoorelbeke, Perez, Contreras, and fellow AZL Cub Jericho Jones are now 1-2-3-4 in the AZL in OPS, Perez, Contreras, Hoorelbeke, and Jones are 1-2-3-4 in SLG %, Jones (hitting .409) and Hoorelbeke (hitting .403) are 1-2 in the AZL in BA, Perez and Contreras are tied for the AZL lead in HR with eight, Hoorelebeke is tied for 3rd with five, and Jones is tied for 5th with four, Perez and Contreras are 1-2 in RBI (Perez has 30 in 24 games played and Contreras has 25 in 23 games), Contreras leads the AZL in runs scored with 27, and Perez leads the AZL in triples with eight (in just 24 games!) and fellow AZL Cub Junior Lake is tied for 3rd in triples with four.
As a team, the AZL Cubs lead the league in HR with 30 (the second best team has 15 HR), BA, SLG, OPS, runs scored, and hits, and the team is second in the league in doubles, triples, and OBP.
Other than that, the AZL Cubs offense just plain sucks.