Cubs Super-Prospect Andrew Cashner makes MLB Debut



First Starlin Castro, and now Andrew Cashner, gets to see his first Major League action in 2010. On Memorial Day, the Chicago Cubs conveyed that they’re focused on the future instead of the short term by selecting the contract of right-handed pitcher (and uber-pehnom) Andrew Cashner from Triple-A Iowa.

To make room for Cashner on the 40-man roster, right-handed pitcher Angel Guzman was transferred to the 60-day disabled list. The Cubs are 6 games out of first, and four games under .500. Given the enormity of their payroll, it’s been a very disappointing season to say the least. And it’s time to think about the long-term, because the short term offers little hope.

By Paul M. Banks


MLB Odds makers looked at the Cubs as a potential favorite for winning the NL Central entering this April. And few people who make MLB Picks for a living believed they would start the youth movement before June.

Cashner, 23, wore uniform number 48 and retired one batter in yesterday afternoon’s game in Pittsburgh, a 2-1 loss to the Pirates. Cashner is Chicago’s top pick (first round, 19th overall) in the 2008 Draft out of Texas Christian University.

He began the season ranked as the organization’s number four prospect by Baseball America.  He joins the Cubs after combining to go 6-1 with a 2.05 ERA (13 ER/57.0 IP) in 11 games (nine starts) between Double-A Tennessee and Triple-A Iowa this season.  In 57.0 innings, Cashner struck out 59 batters and walked only 15 while limiting foes to a .193 batting average.

Cashner has reached the big leagues after only 43 minor league appearances (39 starts).  Though he has pitched primarily as a starter during his professional career, Cashner was the closer for TCU when drafted by the Cubs .  He is 10-7 with a 2.79 ERA (55 ER/177.1 IP) in the 43 pro outings.  He has allowed only three home runs in 177.1 professional innings pitched.

The six-foot-six, 210-pound Cashner began the 2010 campaign with Tennessee , where he went 3-1 with a 2.75 ERA (11 ER/36.0 IP) in six starts to earn the promotion to Iowa on May 7.  With Iowa , he went 3-0 with a 0.86 ERA (2 ER/21.0 IP) in five appearances (three starts).  He struck out 17 and walked only two batters in 21.0 innings pitched.  He made his last two appearances in relief, allowing one unearned run in 2.0 innings, and most recently pitched Saturday at Nashville .

Cashner earned Pacific Coast League Pitcher of the Week honors for May 17-23 after going 2-0 with a 0.69 ERA (1 ER/13.0 IP) in two starts during that span.

After being selected in the 2008 Draft, Cashner advanced to Single-A Daytona by the end of the 2008 campaign.  He combined to go 3-4 with a 2.60 ERA (29 ER/100.1 IP) in 24 starts last year between Daytona and Tennessee .  He was a non-roster invitee to big league spring training in 2009 and 2010 and also pitched in the 2009 Arizona Fall League.

Grabow is 0-3 with a 9.45 ERA (21 ER/20.0 IP) in 23 relief appearances for the Cubs this season.  He allowed three runs on four hits (two home runs) in 2.0 relief innings yesterday vs. St. Louis .

Guzman, 28, was placed on the 15-day disabled list April 4 after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his right shoulder during spring training.

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