Down on the Farm: Andrew Cashner
This isn’t the first time Andrew Cashner has been drafted, but it appears to be the last. The 19th overall pick has been drafted four times. First in 2005 out of high school by the Braves, then in 2006 by the Rockies, next in 2007 by the Cubs and then, finally, again by Chicago yesterday.
“It has been a long process,” Cashner said. “I’ve come a long way since high school, and I think this year is finally the first year I have grown into my body and matured in a baseball standpoint….I left high school at 5-9, and I left TCU at 6-6, 190 pounds so I have come a long way.”
Cashner has made tremendous strides physically in the past year, putting on weight and developing a 98-mph fastball and mid-80s power curve that has helped his stock rise from a 29th-round pick last year to a first-round pick 12 months later. The flame thrower attributes his success to a new diet and workout plan that awaited him after he transferred to Texas Christian University in the fall.
“[TCU] put me on a meal plan and a nutrition plan, and I sat down with our nutritionist and gained some weight. Then the strength coach helped me out a lot, and I put on a lot of muscle and got a lot stronger this year.”
Bigger and stronger, Cashner has electric stuff, but it didn’t fully translate into production until Cashner was made TCU’s closer after being a lifetime starter. TCU head coach Jim Schlossnagle made the decision because of the lack of depth in the Horned Frogs bullpen.
At first, the move worried Cashner.
“To be frank, [Cashner] wasn’t so sure,” Schlossnagle said. “Most starting pitchers…feel that the pen is a demotion. We tried to convince him that if he can be really good at this, the elite college closers have done really well in the draft, and if they stay in the bullpen, they move to the big leagues real quick.”
It only took one outing for Cashner to be convinced.
“In his very first opportunity against Cal State Fullerton in our second game of the season…he was 97-99 [mph] and needless to say he bought in pretty quick.”
So far Schlossnagle has been right. Cashner was the first relief pitcher taken in the draft, and if he continues to grow as a pitcher, the green ivy of Wrigley Field could be on the horizon.
Tim Wilken, the Director of Amateur and Professional Scouting for the Cubs, couldn’t agree more, but he is biding his time to decide what role the big righty will take.
“I think we are going to let this one take its own pace,” Wilken said. “His delivery is pretty darn sound and is probably one of the better ones in this draft….He is comfortable in what he is doing…but he has started in the past.
“I think he’s got good versatility and can go either way. We are very happy.”
And what does the Texas native know of Chicago?
“I know that Wrigley Field is awesome and that they are in first place, and Lou Piniella is doing a great job with them.”
Couldn’t have been said much better.
— Zach Martin
The Smokies blew a six-run lead in the ninth, but pulled through in the 11th, beating Chattanooga, 9-8 in 11 frames … Tennessee improves to 4-2 in extra-inning contests this season.
LHP Donnie Veal (ND 3-4, 2.67) 5.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 8 K
HOMERS – Kyle Reynolds (4)
? 3B-1B Kyle Reynolds came through in the clutch, plating the game-winning run with an RBI-single in the 11th … he was 3-for-4 on the day with a walk, a double, a homer, two runs scored and three RBI.
? SS Matt Camp extended his hitting streak to four games, going 2-for-6 with a double, a run scored, and an RBI … he is hitting at a .365 (38-for-104) clip at home, compared to a .175 (21-for-120) road average.
? RHP Dumas Garcia tossed 2.2 scoreless innings of relief, allowing one hit, walking one, and striking out three … he owns a 1.04 ERA (1 ER/8.2 IP) in four home appearances.
Daytona scored seven runs in the first and never looked back, steamrolling the Flying Tigers, 13-3 … The Cubs’ 13 runs are the most scored by Daytona since plating 14 July 9, 2007 at Vero Beach.
RHP Alex Maestri (W 5-3, 3.69) 6.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 5 K
HOMERS – Yusef Carter (6);Tony Thomas (5)
? 2B Tony Thomas recorded his 20th multi-hit game of the season, going 2-for-4 with a walk, triple, a homer, a run scored, and a season-high five RBI … he is hitting .400 (6-for-15) with a double, a triple, a homer, and five RBI in four June games.
? C Steve Clevenger, who picked up his first four-hit affair of the season, went 4-for-5 with two doubles, two runs scored, and three RBI … he is 8-for-12 (.667) with two doubles, three runs scored, and four RBI over his last three games.
? RHP Michael Phelps pitched 1.0 shutout inning of relief, allowing one hit, walking none, and striking out one … he is holding right-handed hitters to a .160 (8-for-50) average.
Peoria and Clinton battled all game long, but the Chiefs prevailed in the bottom of the ninth, edging the LumberKings, 6-5.
RHP Dae-Eun Rhee (ND 3-1, 1.64) 3.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 3 K
HOMERS – Marquez Smith (9); Brandon Guyer 2 (3)
? LF Brandon Guyer, who went 2-for-5 with three RBI, recorded his first multi-homer game of the year … he belted a two-run roundtripper in the seventh, before launching a game-winning, solo shot in the bottom of the ninth.
? 2B Marquez Smith collected his team-leading ninth homer of the year, a solo shot in the second inning … the homer marked his 28th extra-base hit of the season, ranked tied for first in the Midwest League.
? RHP Blake Parker recorded his 13th scoreless outing of the year, allowing two hits, no walks, and striking out two over 3.0 shutout innings … he extended his scoreless innings streak to 9.0.