Andrew Cashner Out Of The Starting Rotation?


With the temporary fill-ins-Casey Coleman and James Russell–leaving a lot to be desired when it comes to the bottom half the Cubs starting rotation, there has been an increased anticipation of the eventual returns to the major leagues by rehabbing starters Randy Wells and Andrew Cashner. Wells is scheduled to go on a minor league rehab assignment next week and may rejoin the Cubs the last week of May when the New York Mets visit Wrigley Field. Meanwhile, Andrew Cashner remains in Arizona working on his throwing program.

There is no question that when Randy Wells is ready, he will undoubtedly rejoin the starting rotation for the Chicago Cubs. However, that may not be the case for Andrew Cashner. Throughout Cashner’s professional career, the Cubs have flip flopped over whether or not Cashner is a starting pitcher or a relief pitcher. After sustaining a shoulder injury after his first major league start, it may have caused a few members of the Cubs’ front office to reconsider Cashner as a starting pitcher.

According to a report from Bruce Levine, Cashner could very well end up in the bullpen when he returns from his injury instead of back in the starting rotation. There is not a lot of reasons why the Cubs would want to move Cashner back in the bullpen. The most obvious one is that they may want to preserve his arm. It is common sense that Cashner would not exert as much work on his arm if he was pitching out of the bullpen instead of the rotation. That is really the only logical reason the Cubs would have if they wanted to move Cashner into the bullpen.

Assuming the Cubs do want to preserve Cashner’s arm and his health, they can still do so if Cashner is a starting pitcher. While the Cubs starting pitching has been shaky this season, they still have a plethora of arms at their expense to use for a spot start. The common practice for young starting pitchers during a season is that they are shut down after they reach a certain amount of innings pitched on the year. If Doug Davis proves to be a viable option, he could very well work to the benefit of Cashner. Davis would allow the Cubs to give extra rest to Cashner so that the young pitcher does not overwork his arm.

Moving Andrew Cashner back to bullpen does not really hold any substantial advantage for the Cubs. Not to mention, that it is never good for a starting pitcher to go back and forth between the starting rotation and bullpen. When Cashner is ready to return from his injury, I fully expect that he will rejoin the Cubs’ rotation as the fifth starter.