Small Sample Stupidity with Andrew Cashner
Top Pitching Prospect Andrew Cashner was called up recently, and I was alarmed on how little was being written of him within the Chicago Cubs blogosphere. This has most to do with his performance, being neither good nor bad, since he only threw one pitch against the Pittsburgh Pirates on May 31
Cashner came into the game in the eighth inning, relieving 'super-stud' Sean Marshall, who had given up a run on a Bobby Crosby single. Cashner came into the game with the tides shifted in Pittsburgh's favor, and only 16.1% chance of winning.
With the leverage index now at 1.0, former Cubs under-performer Ronny Cedeno stepped into the batter's box with slow-footed right fielder Garrett Jones on second and Crosby on first.
Cashner's first, and only pitch as a major-leaguer (as of yet) was a letter-high fastball outside the zone to Cedeno. The pitch, a fastball, had some giddy-up on it, registering in at 95.2 m.p.h., which was hit for a fly-out to Starlin Castro. This 'sky-rocketed' his Winning Percentage Added (WPA) to 0.03.
Currently, even though his ERA remains at 0.00, his Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP) stat puts him at 3.12, but furthermore, his xFIP (which takes into account fly balls and park factors) has him pegged at 7.21. He'll have to work on that one.
In all seriousness, Cashner made the transition from his bullpen role at Texas Christian University to a starting role in the Cubs minor system fairly well. He definitely has good stuff, although he will need to improve his change-up and fastball command if he hopes to stick it out in the rotation.
The worst-case scenario for the Cubs is Cashner struggling as a starter, and transitions to the pen with probable success, since he needs only worry about his blazing fastball and plus-slider.
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