The San Diego Padres have had a rough go at it the last few years. They’re a team that isn’t exactly terrible, but they’re not a playoff contender either. They’re a small market team with an impressive farm system that just hasn’t quite developed to the point where they’d like yet.
However, there have been some positives in a disappointing season. One positive that you could very easily point to Andrew Cashner, who appears to be transforming into the pitcher that the Padres hoped they were acquiring when they surrendered Anthony Rizzo to get him.
There has been some debate this year as to whether or not Cashner’s future was in the rotation or the bullpen with the Padres. Most of that debate has been brought on by his uncertain health over the last few season. However, those questions appear to have become answers now.
Cashner has pitched to a 3.09 ERA this year, in 175 innings. He’s struck out 128 hitters on the season, to only 17 walks, a much more favorable walk rate than he had posted in the past. He’s starting to emerge as the ace of a very solid San Diego staff.
More impressive is how he’s improved as the year has worn on. His August ERA was at 2.25 in 40 innings with 29 strikeouts. His ERA for the month of September is an absurd 0.67.
There’s never been any doubt that Cashner has had the stuff to succeed. It’s just a matter of not only harnessing that ability, but also staying healthy. Now that he’s managed to do that, he appears to be a true building block for the San Diego Padres moving forward.