The Orioles added veteran pitcher Andrew Cashner to the rotation. After his bounce-back season with Texas can he perform again in 2018?
The Baltimore Orioles big weakness entering the season was starting pitching. They have some question marks in the rotation. Though, one spot is now filled with the signing of Andrew Cashner. He had a good season last year and could continue his recent success this season in Baltimore.
The only locks in the Orioles rotation were Kevin Gausman and Dylan Bundy. Though, that’s not saying much based on how the pitchers performed as a whole. No starter had an ERA below 4.00 for Baltimore last season.
The other two starters will likely be Gabriel Ynoa and Miguel Castro. This could be the worst rotation in the American League East and compete for the worst in all of baseball, giving opposing batters a field day against the Orioles.
More from Fantasy Baseball
After posting a 5.25 ERA and 1.530 WHIP between San Diego and Miami in 2016, Cashner corrected himself with the Texas Rangers. After 28 starts, Cashner finished with a 3.40 ERA, 1.320 WHIP, 4.6 K/9, 3.5 BB/9 and 11-11 record. Some good, some bad stats.
Now that he will pitch in the AL East, he may see an increase in his ratio stats. The strikeout rate should go up as he posted the worst strikeout rate of his career. He struck out just 86 batters in 166.2 innings. The walk rate should stay around his career average.
Cashner saw improvements in his ground ball rate while losing a percentage point in both his line drive and home run rates. That is necessary for a pitcher that isn’t known for inducing a lot of swinging strikes, 8.0 career rate, or swings outside of the strike zone, 28.3 percent.
The AL East has two hitter-friendly parks in Yankee Stadium and Camden Yards. The other three parks ranked 21st or worse in ESPN Park Factors. With the trio of Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton and Gary Sanchez and the sluggers in Toronto and Boston, Cashner is a back-end AL-only draft pick.
Steamer does not like Cashner at all this season. They project him for a 5.40 ERA, 1.55 WHIP, 5.75 K/9, 3.61 BB/9 and a 7-9 record. Regardless of previous seasons, that is not a starting pitcher I want on my team.
Unless you are in the deepest of leagues, Cashner should remain on the waiver wire. His AL East opponents will not do him any favors. He will have a few good starts throughout the season, but not enough to make him worth a roster spot for a full season.
Baltimore does get a starting pitcher but it doesn’t help Cashner’s fantasy value this season.