Cashner Sails Against the Wind

My wife and I went to the I-Cub game tonight with friends. Free general admission for a donation to an organization that provides those in need with the "basic essentials." We got in for a can of shaving cream, a couple bars of soap, a toothbrush and a disposable razor.


It was a beautiful night with a breeze whipping out of the south @ 20-25 mph. A misty spray from the grounds crew hosing down the infield carried all the way to our seats behind the Iowa bullpen down the third baseline. My buddy and I agreed that a slugfest was in store.



I was surprised when Andrew Cashner came out and started throwing long toss. He was supposed to start tomorrow with an extra day of rest as a result of the team's off day earlier in the week. I didn't have a notebook or a pen or anything to make notes with plus I felt sorry for anybody having to pitch in the hitter-friendly conditions.


Well, Iowa won 1-0 in the Madduxian time of 1:52, the team's 11th win in 12 tries! The game proceeded so briskly that an extended intermission was required before the post-game fireworks show could launch - it wasn't dark enough yet! 


Cashner retired the first 13 hitters he faced. He left after seven innings, 95 pitches, no walks, seven strikeouts and one hit batsman. He's now won all three of his Triple A starts and sports a glittering ERA of 0.95.


His fastball was at the knees or lower all night and clocking in the mid-90's.


Why did he pitch tonight? Maybe Oneri Fleita can answer that one. I thought I saw him on the field walking toward the team's clubhouse after the game ended. No doubt he was on his way to filing a glowing report on what he'd just seen in Des Moines.


I've seen headshots of Cashner before and watched him throw a couple of innings on TV in spring training. But in person he reminded me some of Jeff Weaver - blonde and lanky; hard-throwing.


In the managerial department the Iowa skipper ran the team out of a possible insurance run that wasn't needed after all when he wheeled Matt Camp around third with one out in the bottom of the 8th to try and score on Jim Adduci's single to center. Camp was out before he could even consider whether or not to slide. Adduci, by the way, made the play of the game when he leaped at the wall to snag a blast with the tying run on base and two outs in the top of the 7th. He also fielded the first hit off Cashner in the 5th when it came off the wall in left-center and held the hitter to a single. Those were the only two hard hit balls by either team all night.


Now I can go to a couple of graduation parties tomorrow afternoon instead of the ballpark. I may have just come from one tonight.

Comments

Thanks for the notes, Mike W!

Great report, MW.

If Cashner is going to the big leagues then where does he end up? Bullpen is still the biggest need for the team, as they have 6 starters already and Gorzo didn't break anything in his hand. Would Zambrano destroy the city Godzilla style if Cashner took Gorz's spot in the rotation and Z stayed in the pen?

I realize that they are keeping Cashner on the SP track, so I don't know how they could call up their 7th starter when the bullpen is still shit. I thought Jackson was going to come up to the bullpen, but maybe the Howry signing changes that? Is Jackson still working out of the pen in Iowa?

Great news on the game you were able to watch - but I don't see where they can put him now if they call him up.

Wow - I think at this point it's safe to say Cashner is exceeding every Cubs Fan's expectations.

Thanks MW for the eye-witness report...

Looking at the box score, Darwin Barney continues to hit and Brian Schiltter has 4 saves. Any thoughts on these two and their progress?

http://iowa.cubs.milb.com/milb/stats/stats.js...

Fun fact...cubs are 5-0 when Starlin Castro bats 2nd...so if Castro bats 2nd and Silva pitches

Add the 5 mph to Silva's pitches if Koyie Hill catches...

Hmmmm.

http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2010/05/la-...

LaRussa calls for a steal with 2 outs and Albert up and Ludwick gets thrown out to end the inning.

Albert flipped his bat and helmet in disgust, then knocked over two trays of gum in the home dugout. La Russa yelled "that's enough," and after a few moments added "I (expletive) know how to manage."

Am I the only one whose mind reels at the phrase "trays of gum?"

Thanks Mike!

I am on the fence on what to do with Cashner. In the long-run, he needs to be a starter. At this pace, he should start 2011 in the rotation. He is still relatively new to starting in his career, and I hate to take him out of that groove because of our dire bullpen need in the majors.

I guess is all depends on what direction the big league club is headed: If we are contending, we probably need to bring him up for the 'Pen. If not, we leave him in Iowa for now, and probably start him if we trade away starting pitching ahead of the deadline, which if we are out of it we absolutely should be doing. IF this club can't win the division, Lilly (with permission) and Silva should be on the block, with Cashner filling a rotation slot.

Look Ma, no ARam...

CarrieMuskat: #cubs sun lineup 2b riot, ss castro, 1b lee, cf byrd, lf sori, rf nady, 3b baker, dh soto, c hill

whats not to hate (Castro in the 2 hole?...obviously in a lineup kind of way)

I have a bad feeling we're going to have a Homer Howry sighting today. Hope the Koyie 5 mph effect leads to a Silva complete game.

Is Howry carrying the pink backpack?

Lima time is officially over.

Jose Lima-Lime dies of a heart attack...37 years old. yow.

Holy shit. Pretty rare for a 37 year old to have a heart attack...

yeah...he was in LA last night for an on-field sideshow thing for the dodgers.

hope it wasn't "party-related"...either way, wow...37.

I feel terrible for Ms. Lima and the twins.

you motor boatin son of a bitch!

http://www.insomniacslounge.com/uploaded_imag...

Grabow in to be a loogy vs Hamilton...

Another failure.

Where's Lou's DOGHOUSE?

And Howry is warming up...

Maybe the threat of Howry will straighten out Grabow?

Did Silva get hurt?

nope...pulled with 0 on to get a lefty in vs. hamilton.

i don't understand why grabes was picked over russell...or why he was pitching to cruz.

...or why he's working the next inning.

This probably doesn't mean much but here's an 8 round mock draft

http://www.draftsite.com/mlb/

1 Dylan Covey RHP, Maranatha HS
2 Marcus Littlewood, SS, Pine View HS
3 Dixon Anderson, RHP, California
4 Tommy Medica, C/OF, Santa Clara
5 Luke Jackson, RHP, Calvary HS
6 Daniel Bibona, LHP, UC Irvine
7 Jordan Cooper, RHP, Wichita St
8 Austin Southall, OF, UC Prep (HS)

grabow leaves after blooper hit and a walk... Typical.

howdy howry. one can hope but it looks bleak

welcome to the cubs howry...your new cubs career is 2 minutes old and you've given up a run.

...at least it's not earned...sigh.

Grabow has appeared in 21 games now with an ERA of almost 9.00, at what point does the cost he is incurring to the team out-weigh any benefit the team gets from a Grabow who has "worked things out" for the remainder of the year?

the problem is his stuff is still good...he's just getting consistantly crapped on.

like aram, he'll probably right the ship eventually...unlike aram, righting the ship is reverting to a slightly-above-average inning-guy.

They should just let Marshall and Gorz pitch innings 6-8 on alternate days. Fuck the rest of the bullpen. Fuck em right in the ear.

CarrieMuskat: X-rays Sunday of #Cubs Aramis Ramirez's left thumb were negative but he will sit for few days to heal mild sprain/bruise
---
hopefully they dont have to play the retroactive to the DL game and waste roster space

Almost feels like a trip to the Disgraceful List instead of the Disabled List.

It's hard to read that without reading "recently deceased".

I just read that at one point today Howry had gone 36 consecutive pitches without retiring a batter!

is it just me or was this rangers cubs series some good watchin?

I kinda like this Castro kid. Seems like whenever the opposing pitcher tries to fool him with breaking stuff down and away -- I guess they all think he's Shawon Dunston -- he just lays off the pitch. And when they don't go out far enough he reaches out and belts it to right field. Lots of times for fouls but that's okay.

I haven't seen him pull the ball at all yet but I have not seen him a lot of his ABs. So I wonder if he's vulnerable to some inside stuff. But even if he is that's harder to pull off as a pitcher and easier to make a mistake on.

The Rangers broadcasters this weekend had this discussion:

playbyplay guy: "He's had 5 strikeouts in 45 at bats. 20 year olds aren't supposed to be able to do that."
color guy: "20 year olds aren't supposed to be in the major leagues."

He's now got 6 strikeouts in 60 at bats. Not sure how many PAs.

Apparently he hasn't received the manual yet on how to be a true Cubs rookie.

It'll be interesting to see where he is two months from now as the scouts and teams try to fish for weaknesses.

In the meantime, I like him in the 2 hole until/if they figure him out.

He pulled the ball some in Spring Training. He's not Theriot at the plate--he's got much quicker hands and seems to have the ability to adjust with them very easily to pitches up, down, in and out, and he takes a pretty aggressive swing every now and then. At some point pitchers will try busting him up and in with fastballs. I think that if he can lay off the ball out of the zone, he might cash in some of the ones in the zone for a few doubles and maybe a homerun--but probably more top spin liners to left. I'm very encouraged by Castro at the plate as well.

It's becoming a little more obvious now why the Deter Jeter comparisons started getting thrown around late last year. He's got excellent bat control and a quick bat. Pitchers haven't really tried hammering him with high heat, but I imagine he'll just hit line drives to right when they do.

Clearly he had some jitters in his first few games, but he's making plays now and making things happen defensively. With the bat, I don't think we'll know what he's really made of until he has a rough patch and we can see what kind of adjustments he makes. I agree with what you all are saying, though... he has a nice swing and fast hands. I think as long as he keeps his head screwed on he'll be alright.

Recent comments

Subscribe to Recent comments
The first 600 characters of the last 16 comments, click "View" to see rest of comment.
  • "trout's one of the best, and at this point should probably win over donaldson (and should have more MVPs in the past, too), but the defensive aspect of valuing WAR still needs more tweaking...imo."

    that's from my 1st post. there's no suck involved in that. maybe with a few less posts about bullshit that would have jumped out more.

    crunch 5 sec ago view
  • crunch - you do know that, taking defense out of the equation, Trout has led the AL in wRC+ each of those years, right?

    And, if you want to complain about position adjustment (which would be serious #crunchsplaining), he's been in the top 3 in the AL in WC (not park/league/position adjusted). And the only players ahead of him (if there were any players ahead of him) in any of those years have been DHs or 1B that play lousy defense.

    But sure - Trout sucks (or at least isn't as good as WAR says). Because it factors in defense and position.

    big_lowitzki 47 min 41 sec ago view
  • early tim tebow stuff rolling in...

    ran a 6.7 60yd (above average)...shagging flies in RF and showed off a rather impressive arm a few times, but average-at best on most of his throws...hit a few over the fence (both fields), fouled or weak contact a few...he's got a touch of power

    it'll be interesting to see who bites on this project, if anyone. he probably projected himself out of RF and into LF/1st because of his arm, but unless he can make that power work on a steady basis it'll be hard for him to play himself up anyone's system.

    crunch 1 hour 32 min ago view
  • LHP Clayton Richard (released by the Cubs earlier this month) is pitching very well as a starting pitcher for the San Diego Padres and could be a good candidate to get traded to a contender looking for a veteran SP before tomorrow night's post-season roster eligibility deadline.

    Because they released him, the Cubs are paying most of Richard's 2016 salary (the Cubs are on the hooks for $2M, minus the pro-rated portion of the MLB minimum salary that is paid by the Padres).

    Arizona Phil 3 hours 19 min ago view
  • it is honestly awesome (for real) that anyone would even have a strong opinion on AZL playoffs. i guess if you invest enough time watching it, you want to see a fair/just playoff structure.

    plus, the kids deserve it.

    crunch 3 hours 20 min ago view
  • The AZL team with the best record over the course of the full 2016 AZL season and the only AZL team to play .600 ball (the AZL Dodgers) did not qualify for the AZL playoffs, and the AZL East Division team with the best record over the course of the full season (the AZL Athletics) did not qualify for the AZL playoffs, either. 

    That's because of the ridiculous "split season" schedule most of the minor leagues now play, a stupid system that rewards mediocrity at the expense of the worthy. 

    Arizona Phil 3 hours 27 min ago view
  • Despite good movement on his fastball, I think location kept him from getting Ks. Left some pitches up and away that got hammered up and away. Then of course Travis Wood gave up the 2-run double in the 7th, but both runs counted against Arrieta.

    Charlie 4 hours 3 min ago view
  • "i'm gonna make you my main squeeze one day, bro. save the date."

    This level of discourse is #charming.

    #baseballtalk

    Tito 4 hours 4 min ago view
  • I would be having this discussion with anyone who (a) blathered on ad nauseum about the topic. (See, "Olt, Mike, not given an opportunity") or (b) responded directly to what I posted (which you did).

    Have a nice day.

    #baseballtalk

    Tito 4 hours 6 min ago view
  • what would you do without me? aside from having your posting content here cut by 75%+?

    i'm gonna make you my main squeeze one day, bro. save the date.

    crunch 4 hours 10 min ago view
  • In this instance, yes, I care more about the result of this big thing that isn't really a big thing.

    #crunchsplaining

    #willlistentojeffsullivanmorethanyou

    #blessyourheart

    #hitler

    #tcrmartyr

    #billyhamiltonwar

    #baseballtalk

    Tito 4 hours 10 min ago view
  • Two things:

    Fangraphs WAR #s include baserunning and Hamilton is elite at that. He leads in SBs with the 54 and and has an 87% rate which is really good. I'm sure once he gets on base he's able to take the extra base quite often too. Both those things will up his overall WAR value.

    The differences between BR and FG WAR is pretty well documented online and thus If there are discrepancies it's fairly easy to figure out why. It's fairly well accepted that BR WAR is fine as a snapshot but FG is better at predicting future value.

    johann 4 hours 14 min ago view
  • i have no doubt at all you quit reading at that point. you're very enamored with outcomes without caring what it takes to get there.

    the fact it's exploitable, especially without someone to cover the running game for him, as well it's evolution in how people are testing possible exploits is interesting to some people...to me...i'm some people...hurrah.

    some people want to check the boxscore to see who won, some want to know how it went down.

    crunch 4 hours 27 min ago view
  • I read it as him saying it's not really that much of a concern and that the one time it really cost Lester, vs. K.C., was an anomaly.

    #baseballtalk

    Tito 4 hours 32 min ago view
  • if jeff says it, it's cool...when i say it, it's straight from the mouth of hitler.

    aside from the lack of jeff touching on the insane leads runners take and lester's inability to throw if he's fielding, this is a lot of what i've said about the issue.

    exploitable, needs his own personal catcher to control his shortcomings, relies on his ability to get outs along with his personal catcher keeping runners in check before things become further exploited...

    crunch 4 hours 35 min ago view
  • That would be Rice Krispy Treat

    The E-Man 5 hours 53 min ago view