Cashner: “I’m going to shove it up their *** tomorrow.”


June 23, 2013; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Padres starting pitcher

Andrew Cashner

(34) reacts after giving up a run during the seventh inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

When the new front office of the organization that drafted you all but gives up on you, let’s just say it properly incentivizes most people.

When Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer took over the Chicago Cubs in 2011, one of the first moves made brought current first baseman Anthony Rizzo to the North Side in exchange for Andrew Cashner. Let’s just say the tall, hard-throwing right hander has a chip on his shoulder heading into Sunday’s finale against the Cubs.

"“I’m ready,” he told the media. “I didn’t pitch that well in Chicago last time we were there. But I have a good feel for a lot of things right now, a good rhythm. I love pitching in this park. I’m looking to shove it up their [bleep] tomorrow.”"

Well, there it is. It’s out there now. The old adage, “No hard feelings” clearly doesn’t fit the bill heading into this afternoon’s rubber match. Cashner is out to prove the Cubs front office wrong.

The 6’6″, 220 pound right-hander seems to have finally put it all together this year, avoiding any serious injury, and pitching on a regular basis. Sunday will mark his 22nd start of the season, in which he has pitched to an 8-8 record with a respectable 3.74 ERA.

He’s always had the stuff to be dangerous, but stretching it out into starter material has been an entirely different matter, altogether. That, combined with injuries, was enough for Epstein and Hoyer to send him packing, in what looked like one of the worst trades the Padres had ever made.

Clearly, there was more to this kid than meets the eye.

He’s notched 93 strikeouts in 137.1 innings pitched this season, and ranks fourth in the National League in terms of assists for his respective position. His intensity and love of the game has been apparent all season long.

Chicago drafted Cashner in the first round of the 2008 Draft out of Texas Christian University. With that 19th overall pick, Chicago hoped to have landed an ace of the future who already possessed an electric fastball that, when right, was near-unhittable.

After working his way up through the minors, Cashner posted a 2-6 record with Chicago over two seasons (10-11), making 60 appearances – all but one of which came in relief.

The shot has been fired over the bow of the Cubs, and now it’s time to respond. It’s time to go out today and play this game the right way by focusing on fundamentals and maintaining a strong mental focus.

It’s time to make Cashner eat his own words. First pitch, 3:05 p.m.