The San Diego Padres had a scare last month when Andrew Cashner missed time with discomfort in his pitching elbow.
To their relief, and in stark contrast to the typical outcome with elbow injuries this season, the Padres learned that Cashner just needed some rest before he would be able to return to the rotation. It would have been a shame for Cashner to be lost during a season that has started out so well for the hard-throwing right-handed starter.
With his arm close to full strength Cashner is on track to re-join the Padres’ rotation this coming weekend. According to Will Laws of MLB.com:
Bud Black says Cashner could come off the DL this weekend if all goes smoothly. Threw 65 pitches in sim game today
— Will Laws (@WillLaws) June 2, 2014
Cashner will try to pick up where he left off on what has been an outstanding season thus far. Through nine starts Cashner has a 2.35 ERA, a 2.77 FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching), and a 7.4 K/9 mark. Perhaps most important has been the consistency of Cashner’s command.
Building on an improvement in that area in 2013, Cashner has once again been able to work more efficiently, not to mention making pitches like this one:
The only blip on Cashner’s 2014 campaign is his win-loss record, though that is more a study in the flaws of the pitcher’s win statistic than anything else. He could be Roger Clemens and struggle to win any games with that Padres’ offense (or lack thereof).
If Cashner is able to return this weekend, he would on the mound at home against the Washington Nationals. All things considered, that is a pretty comfortable spot for the Padres to re-insert their top pitcher into the rotation.