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)
During the Pirates’ FanFest on Saturday, right-hander Gerrit Cole announced that he is back up to full health after being shut down with elbow inflammation in September. Per Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Cole said he’ll start a throwing program on Monday as he works on regaining his form for the 2017 season.
The 26-year-old pitched through 116 innings for the Pirates in 2016, delivering a 3.88 ERA and 2.5 WARP before landing on the disabled list in June with a triceps strain and again in August with elbow inflammation. It was a steep drop for the right-hander, who saw a considerable spike in his ERA and BB/9 rate and struggled to strike out batters at the 8.7 mark he managed in 2015.
The upside? Inflammation was the worst of Cole’s issues in 2016, and while the newfound health issues didn’t help his case for an extension, a more serious injury doesn’t appear to be on the horizon.
The Astros, Braves and Nationals came sniffing around White Sox left-hander Jose Quintana during the Winter Meetings, but each appeared to find the Sox’ asking price well beyond what they were willing to give up for the starter. On Saturday, Peter Gammons revealed that the White Sox had floated Francis Martes, Kyle Tucker and Joe Musgrove as a possible return for Quintana.
It’s a strategy that worked well for Chicago in the past, most recently when they dealt Chris Sale to the Red Sox for Yoan Moncada and Michael Kopech, among others, and flipped Adam Eaton to the Nationals for a trio of pitching prospects. Astros’ GM Jeff Luhnow didn’t appear eager to sacrifice some of his core talent to net a high-end starter, however, and told the Houston Chronicle’s Jake Kaplan as much on Wednesday:
We’re prepared to trade players to improve our club right now. […] We’re just not prepared to trade away players that are core to our production in 2017, and those are sometimes the players that are required to get these deals done.
While Lunhow was speaking specifically to the inclusion of third baseman Alex Bregman in future deals, it’s not unrealistic to think that top prospects Francis Martes and Kyle Tucker would also be considered instrumental to the Astros’ plans for the next few seasons.
Martes, 21, currently sits atop the team’s top prospect list on MLB.com. The right-hander blazed through his first full season in Double-A Corpus Christi, posting a 3.30 ERA and career-best 9.4 K/9 over 125 1/3 innings in 2016. Tucker, meanwhile, profiles as the Astros’ second-best prospect and made a successful jump to High-A Lancaster last season, slashing .339/.435/.661 in 69 PA. Rookie right-hander Joe Musgrove is the only player left off the top prospect list, but he got off to a decent start with the club in 2016 as well, going 4-4 with a 4.06 ERA and 3.44 K/BB rate in 62 innings during his first major league season.