In case you have not heard, starting pitcher Andrew Cashner of the San Diego Padres ended the 2013 season with a blistering stretch of games. One of those games landed him the Pitching Performance of the Month for September when he threw a 1-hit complete game shutout. He was shut down before the end of the season by a couple of weeks but he could have still been considered as a front runner for Pitcher of the Month. With this level of success, should the Padres look for a better season out of Cashner next year?
Even as things were this year Cashner wound up with ten wins for a subpar team and an ERA of 3.09. That isn’t bad anyway but his success at the end of the season was not just a fluke run of luck. He gained much better command of his fastball and other pitches stemmed from that. If he can work towards keeping that effort up during the off-season, there is a good chance he could have a much better season next year and even compete for a Cy-Young type season.
The name Clayton Kershaw has become synonymous with pitching greatness but there were none better than Cashner for the last six starts of his season. He went 44.66 innings and sported a disappearing ERA of 0.81 over that stretch. Not even the great Kershaw could match that more than maybe once during a six start stretch of the season. The bad news is that Cashner has to work his way through the off-season knowing how to pick up where he left off. The good news for the Padres is that he is more than capable of that.