The Padres are still the only MLB team without a no-hitter, but Andrew Cashner came close again last night, tossing a one-hitter in a 6-0 win over the Tigers at PETCO Park in San Diego. His shutout was the first in the majors this season.
Cashner brought a no-hitter into the sixth inning, but it was broken up on a out-out bloop single by Rajai Davis. The 27-year-old right-hander struck out a career-high 11 batters and walked a pair in the victory. He was as efficient as can be, throwing 70 out of 108 pitches for strikes while inducing 13 ground balls. Oh, and the cherry on top? He struck out Miguel Cabrera swinging to end the ballgame.
This was actually Cashner’s second career one-hit shutout. He also had one against the Pirates last September 13. One of these days, Padres fans. One of these days.
Cashner posted a 3.09 ERA and 128/47 K/BB ratio over 175 innings last season and the Padres are looking for him to be their ace this year. With a 1.29 ERA through his first three outings, he’s off to a pretty good start.
Editor’s Note: Hardball Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $100,000 Fantasy Baseball league for Saturday night’s games. It’s $200 to join and first prize is $15,000. Starts at 7:05pm ET on Saturday. Here’s the FanDuel link.
Your Friday box scores:
Tigers 0, Padres 6
Marlins 3, Phillies 6
Red Sox 4, Yankees 2
Nationals 6, Braves 7 (10 innings)
Blue Jays 2, Orioles 0
Astros 0, Rangers 1
Pirates 2, Brewers 4
Rays 2, Reds 1
Cubs 6, Cardinals 3 (11 innings)
Indians 6, White Sox 9
Dodgers 6, Diamondbacks 0
Royals 1, Twins 10
Rockies 5, Giants 6
Athletics 4, Mariners 6
Mets 4, Angels 5 (11 innings)
Jon Morosi of FOX Sports reports that the Tigers are in discussions with free agent starter Jordan Zimmermann. His sources have told him that the talks have become “serious”.
Zimmermann, 29, has a career 3.32 ERA across parts of seven seasons in the majors. He finished fifth in National League Cy Young Award balloting in 2014, finishing with a 2.66 ERA and a 182/29 K/BB ratio over 199 2/3 innings.
Among starters who have amassed at least 1,000 innings since 2009, only Cliff Lee, Dan Haren, Madison Bumgarner, and Zack Greinke have compiled a better strikeout-to-walk ratio than Zimmermann’s 4.09. While he doesn’t have the star power of other free agents such as Greinke or David Price, the Tigers would certainly improve their rotation by bringing him on board.
Having already added Jesse Chavez and J.A. Happ to the mix and re-signing Marco Estrada early in the offseason, Blue Jays interim GM Tony LaCava said the team will continue to pursue pitching upgrades, as Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports. Nicholson-Smith added that LaCava declined to comment on free agent ace David Price. It is believed that the Jays will not pursue Price and other big-name free agent starting pitchers given their November activity.
The Jays re-signed Estrada to a two-year, $26 million deal on November 13, acquired Chavez from the Athletics in exchange for reliever Liam Hendriks on November 20 and signed Happ to a three-year, $36 million deal on Friday.
Nicholson-Smith notes in a column on Sportsnet that the Jays need to address the bullpen in particular. That is especially true after swapping Hendriks, who had a career-best 2.92 ERA out of the Jays’ bullpen in 2015, for a back-end starting pitcher.
Jon Heyman of CBS Sports spoke to an anonymous baseball executive, who said that Nationals closer Jonathan Papelbon is “untradeable”. The Nationals are hoping to trade both Papelbon and the man he displaced, Drew Storen.
Papelbon has a poor reputation in baseball, particularly after a dugout altercation with superstar outfielder Bryce Harper. Focusing strictly on what he does on the field, Papelbon still gets the job done. The 35-year-old finished the last season with a combined 2.13 ERA, 24 saves, and a 56/12 K/BB ratio over 63 1/3 innings between the Phillies and Nationals.
The Nationals owe Papelbon $11 million for the 2016 season.
Baseball America’s J.J. Cooper reports that corner infielder Mike Hessman has retired from professional baseball after 20 seasons. Hessman hit 433 home runs in the minor leagues, an all-time record. He broke Buzz Arlett’s record this past August and with style as #433 was a grand slam.
Hessman, 37, was selected in the 16th round of the 1996 draft by the Braves and remained with the organization through the 2004 season. He then went to the Tigers from 2005-09, the Mets in 2010, then drifted into the Astros and Reds’ farm systems before returning to the Tigers for the last two years.
Hessman took 250 plate appearances at the major league level, batting .188/.272/.422 with 14 home runs and 33 RBI.