Chicago Cubs' Andrew Cashner Is a Strong Possibility With Angel Guzman Out.
Angel Guzman will definitely miss the start of the season, and may need surgery on his shoulder. Guzman will be out indefinitely with a torn ligament in his shoulder. He has been on the disabled list several times over his tenure with the cubs, struggling through the minors to stay on the field, and he has already had surgery on his right elbow in the past, and his knee this off-season.
Guzman was on the disabled list a couple of times last year as well. There is no doubt when healthy Angel has inspiring stuff, featuring a mid-90's sinking fastball, a great curve ball and a change-up. Hopefully he doesn't need surgery and can come back healthy.
His career potential was to be a solid middle of the rotation starter, but he has been inconsistent and injured, he is much better as a reliever. Last year he posted a 2.95 ERA, with a whip of 1.05, allowing 20 earned runs in 61 innings, as a starter he gave up 64 earned runs in 96 innings.
The Chicago Cubs 1st round 19th overall pick of the 2008 draft Andrew Cashner is in the mix for a job out of the bullpen, possibly as the right handed setup man. Last year in 42 innings in High A Daytona Cashner posted a 1.50 ERA with a whip of 1.10, In AA he had an ERA of 3.39 and whip of 1.23 in 58.1 innings. Cashner also pitched 19.2 innings in the Arizona Fall League with a 1.37 whip and a 4.58 ERA
Cashner is a 6 foot 5, right-handed, 185 pound, 23 year old pitcher from Texas. Andrew features a mid-90's fastball and a plus slider to his arsenal. In his only season at TCU (Texas Christian University) Andrew was 9-4 in 30 appearances with 9 saves and a 2.32 ERA, Cashner was dominant for TCU after switching to the closer's role and was projected as a top-tier reliever, who could also be a starter in the majors.
It is up to the organization, whether they turn Cashner loose out of the bullpen this year, or send him back down to the minors to further develop him as a starter according to Lou Pinella.
My biggest concern would be the Cubs putting Cashner in the bullpen, and then trying to move him back to a starting role, further down the line. Cashner has all the tools be a dominant reliever out of the bullpen. Bouncing back and forth didn't help Jeff Samardijza at all, although Cashner looks a little more polished, than Samardijza did.
Cashner isn't the only option, Esmailin Caridad will be on the big league club, and Mike Parisi, John Gaub, Blake Parker, Thomas Diamond, James Russell, Justin Berg, and few others are possibilities as well. The Cubs have scouts checking out other teams pitching staffs as well, and may try to make a trade.
If the Cubs decide to put Andrew Cashner in the bullpen, I hope it's to stay, otherwise I think they should send him back down to the minors to develop as a starter. First we need to see how he pitches in spring training as well.
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