Now that Anthony Rizzo has been called up by the Chicago Cubs, it seems like everyone is declaring the Rizzo-Cashner trade from this January a landslide win for the Cubbies. That may prove to be true in the long run, but we won’t know for years.
About the only thing we can say for certain is this trade will not make a big imapct on either team’s 2012 season. The Padres and Cubs are the two worst teams in baseball, and both teams would have been just as bad if the trade had never happened.
Cashner could develop into a top of the rotation starter, as he has some of the nastiest stuff in all of baseball. Before being sent down to stretch out his arm, the 25-year-old had a 3.81 ERA while striking out 10.8 K/9. He went 2-0 with a 1.88 ERA and 22 strikeouts in just 14 1/3 innings at Double-A.
The major concerns with Cashner are his shoulder and control. The Padres sent Cashner to their bullpen to ensure he was fully healthy before stretching him out to start. He has been healthy this year, but averaged 5.7 BB/9.
If Cashner can’t limit walks and keep his pitch count under control, he’ll never work out as a starting pitcher. If he can adjust his approach, he certainly has the stuff to be elite. Whether he’s Chris Sale, Daniel Bard or something in between, only time will tell.
Cashner grew up 40 miles outside of Houston, so he will be pitching in front of a big group of friends and family at Minute Maid Park. Dallas Keuchel will make his third major league start for Houston.