Padres shut down Andrew Cashner with elbow injury

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Another day, another stud pitcher with elbow problems. This time it’s Padres ace Andrew Cashner, who’s been placed on the disabled list with elbow soreness.

Cashner was off to a great start this year, starting nine games with a 2.35 ERA and 47/17 K/BB ratio in 57 innings to build off a breakout 2013 campaign in which he joined the rotation full time with a 3.09 ERA in 175 innings.

Durability has always been an issue for Cashner and last season he topped his previous career-high workload by nearly 60 innings, but both in terms of velocity and performance there’s been little sign of trouble until now.

Kyle Schwarber is “probably, arguably” in The Best Shape of His Life

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Joe Maddon just held his annual media availability here at the Winter Meetings. During the scrum he said that Kyle Schwarber “looked great the other day” at a Cubs community event and that . . . wait for it . . . “he’s in, probably, arguably in the best shape of his life.” Maddon went on to say that, if Schwarber looks good in spring training, he might even be the Cubs leadoff hitter in 2018.

Schwarber is only 24, but the former catcher turned outfielder is going to spend most of his career as a DH, with another team obviously, unless he shows the Cubs that he can be a regular defender. The Cubs would love to see him in better shape whether they keep him or shop him, and if it’s the latter, they’ll want to show potential trade partners that he can play defense so as not to limit his market. It’s in everyone’s interests for him to be lean, mean and a bit more flexible once spring training starts.

To that end, according to a recent report, Schwarber “has been on a mission this offseason to transform his body.” And now Maddon is playing up the BSOHL angle. Whether that’s salesmanship or not, all eyes are going to be on Schwarber come February.