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.


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?

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

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


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!

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

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. 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.

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