Will Andrew Cashner Be Ready to Start Opening Day?

Gary OusdahlCorrespondent IIFebruary 26, 2013

PEORIA, AZ - FEBRUARY 18:   Andrew Cashner #34 of the San Diego Padres poses during MLB photo day February 18, 2013 at the Peoria Stadium in Peoria, Arizona. (Photo by Rich Pilling/Getty Images)
Rich Pilling/Getty Images

According to UT San Diego, Andrew Cashner has tweeted, "Like I've said all along, I will be ready to start Opening Day."

This leaves a very interesting situation for Bud Black and the Padres' front office.  

The Padres already have quite a bit of rotation depth going into the 2013 season.  And though they mentioned possibly adding one—if not two—proven starters this offseason, the team has decided to go with the current roster of returning pitchers and a few minor external additions this spring.  

According to Corey Brock of MLB.com, the Padres are hopeful that Cashner will be able to throw off of a mound as soon as this Friday.  

Cashner, who had surgery in December to repair a lacerated tendon in his right thumb suffered from a hunting related accident, would be coming back ahead of his recovery schedule.  

That's a good thing for all parties, said manager Bud Black.  Cash is doing great. He's champing at the bit. He feels as though he's ready for [throwing off the mound], but medically, there's some healing properties that have to take place with the thumb, Black said. But he's getting close. Our doctors and our medical staff feel comfortable where he is. Hopefully it's next week.

With Jason Marquis, Eric Stults, Casey Kelly, Freddy Garcia, Anthony Bass and Tyson Ross all competing for a spot in the rotation this year, having Cashner back in the mix early in the season could shake things up in the Padres staff.

And though Cashner hopes to be ready for Opening Day, he will most likely need a little time in the Minor Leagues to refine his control and build endurance before joining the team.  

I don't think there's any reason why I couldn't be ready for Opening Day, Cashner said. Definitely my goal is to break camp.

Hopefully he's right, because I would love to see how Cashner does in a full season of ball.