If someone were to say that San Diego Padres pitcher Andrew Cashner had the chance to be the most surprising pitcher of the 2014 season, they wouldn’t be exaggerating. The way Cashner finished off last year, the sky’s the limit for this guy.
Originally drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the first round back in 2008, he was shipped to San Diego as part of the trade that brought the Cubs first base slugger Anthony Rizzo. The jury is still out on who won that trade, but 2014 could prove that it was the Padres.
Last season, Cashner broke out with a 10-9 record and 3.09 ERA for the Padres. The team was worried about his innings and tried to limit him as the season came to a close. However, the stretch run of the season was really when Cashner shined. There’s no doubt he will be looking to carry that momentum into 2014 as he tries to establish himself as a top pitcher in the NL.
Starting in Spring Training, the Padres will be looking to stretch Cashner, who has already had elbow surgery in the past. With a 6-foot-6 frame, they realize that they have a potential ace in the making if he can stay healthy. Cashner was originally put in the Cubs’ bullpen because he threw so hard (he has touched triple-digits with his fastball), but eventually he became too talented to keep out of the rotation.
Being sent to San Diego gave Cashner a perfect opportunity to start anew after his injury. Last season was a big step towards that for the 27-year-old. As he’s stretched out this Spring Training, an even bigger step should be taken in the 2014 season.