It appears that the Cubs are prepping top pitching prospect Andrew Cashner to replace Carlos Zambrano in the bullpen, as early as next week. As, earlier today it was reported that the Cubs moved Cashner from the rotation to the bullpen in triple A-Iowa, and the speculation began that the Cubs were getting ready to bring up another one of their top prospects.
Cashner possess a lights out fastball that could reach 97MPH, something that the Cubs have been looking for out of an eighth inning reliever. Ever since being promoted to Iowa earlier in the year, Cashner has excelled in his role as a starter going 3-0 with a ERA of 0.95. And despite his success as a starter, Cashner is looking forward to pitching out of the bullpen…
"“It surprised me when I first heard about it,” Cashner told the Des Moines Register. “I talked to (the Cubs) about going to relief a while back, but it was always their thought that I was going to start. Working out of the bullpen is something right now that excites me.” CHICAGO TRIBUNE"
Now, I don’t know if it is the fact that Cashner has very good fastball, or the fact that he is being hyped as a possible eighth inning guy for the Cubs, but for some reason Cashner reminds me a lot of Joba Chamberlain of the New York Yankees. As, Cashner possess the same versatility that Chamberlain does when it comes to being a starter, and being a reliever.
If Cashner is going to get the call to the big leagues next week, that does mean that the Cubs would have to send down one of their relievers. And if all the speculation of Tom Gorzelanny moving to the bullpen is true, then it would make sense that the Cubs would send lefty reliever James Russell back to the minors.
Or, even though it does not appear likely, it is possible that the Cubs work out a trade involving Tom Gorzelanny, which would then open up a spot on the 25 man roster for Cashner to be called up, and open up the necessary spot in the rotation for Carlos Zambrano to return to. Either way, it appears that Gorzelanny may have made his last start for the Cubs for the near future.