San Diego’s rotation depth is so lacking that they replaced Jeff Suppan with Jason Marquis and now with Eric Stults headed to the disabled list with a strained lat muscle the Padres are turning to flame-throwing setup man Andrew Cashner to make Saturday’s start.
Corey Brock of MLB.com reports that Cashner will likely be limited to three innings, which makes sense considering he’s thrown more than 30 pitches in a game just once all season.
Cashner was a starter in the minors before the Cubs moved his high-90s fastball to the bullpen, but his control and off-speed stuff are both iffy enough that sticking in the rotation long term seems unlikely. He’s racked up 87 strikeouts in 91 career innings, but he’s also walked 50 and served up 12 homers while relying on his fastball-slider combination 90 percent of the time.
Free agent right-hander Henderson Alvarez signed a deal with the Tigres de Quintana Roo of the Mexican Baseball League earlier this week, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Friday. The righty wasn’t necessarily too fringey a player to hack it in the big leagues, but there were no MLB takers in attendance during his showcase in Venezuela last month and he clearly felt it best to try his luck elsewhere.
The 27-year-old’s last major league gig came with the Phillies, for whom he delivered a 4.30 ERA, 6.8 BB/9 and 3.7 SO/9 over 14 2/3 innings in 2017. While he’s not too far removed from his first and only All-Star bid in 2014, he was besieged by shoulder issues in 2015 and 2016 and underwent season-ending surgeries as a result.
That added injury risk, coupled with the fact that he hasn’t pitched more than 22 innings in a single season since 2014, may have been too much for major league teams to take on this spring. Assuming he steers clear of further injuries, however, a return to the majors may not be entirely out of the question in years to come.