Andrew Cashner Shutdown After Suffering A Setback


This has not been a good week for Cubs fans. Between the Tyler Colvin demotion, Jim Hendry’s attempt to make the move sound logical, and the flat out embarrassing series against the Reds has made most Cubs lose whatever faith they had remaining in the Cubs for the 2011 season. The news does not get any better. Andrew Cashner, who had been in the process of rehabbing the rotator cuff strain that he endured on April 8, has suffered a setback.

After Cashner felt tightness in his arm, the Cubs decided to fly Cashner back to Chicago so he could take another MRI. The MRI results came back today. Unfortunately for the Cubs, it is not good news. The MRI revealed another aggravated strain to Cashner’s rotator cuff, the second one Cashner has sustained this season.

This essentially resets the whole process for Cashner. Cashner will not even touch a baseball for the next two weeks, and then be re-evaluated after that. From there, the Cubs will determine the best plan of action. The Chicago Sun Times reports that Cashner may be out until after the All-Star break. I’d imagine, that even that may be optimistic. Because the Cubs were already extremely cautious with Cashner after the first time he strained his rotator cuff, now having strained it for the second time in as many months, the Cubs will be very hesitant to bring Cashner back until he is fully recovered.

This may make the Cubs reconsider how they want to use Cashner when he comes back. As the Cubs would be wise not to overwork Cashner, since he has already suffered two rotator cuff strains on the season. The option of Cashner moving back to the bullpen, may be more likely than it was before. But that does not mean that Cashner would not be able to move back to working as a starting pitcher after the season. Obviously it is not good to flip flop a pitcher between the rotation and bullpen, but, at this point a move to bullpen to close out the season may be in the best long term interest for Cashner.

Doug Davis–for all intents and purposes–is now the official fifth starter for the Cubs this season. With Cashner being potentially sidelined till mid-July, Davis figures to become a mainstay in the Cubs rotation. That is not necessarily a bad thing either. It is always good for a team to feature a veteran lefty in their rotation. Especially a pitcher like Davis, who is all about finesse and not overpowering hitters.