ST. LOUIS, MO - MAY 21: Reliever Andrew Cashner #34 of the San Diego Padres pitches against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium on May 21, 2012 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
Despite a solid spring training, Padres manager may not be ready to lose his hard-throwing right-hander at the start of the season.
Andrew Cashner has a 2.70 ERA through the spring, and continues to make a case for that No. 5 spot in the rotation, though the Padres might not need a 5th started until mid-April.
Cashner is up against Tyson Ross and Anthony Bass, who could potentially put Cashner back in the bullpen.
Wednesday he allowed one run on three hits in 2 2/3 innings during the 6-4 loss to the Giants, though the lineup was mostly compromised of prospective players. He slotted four Ks and one walk.
Cashner had emergency surgery in December to repair a lacerated tendon he injured in a hunting accident.
Skipper Bud Black says despite the solid showing in spring, giving him the nod to go at the beginning of April is not decided.
“It’s not out of the question,” Black said. “It’s going to be a close call.”
Even though he’s looked good throughout the spring, he may not have built up the stamina to be placed in the regular rotation just yet. The safe call would be to keep him out until mid April as opposed to pushing the righty more than his thumb may be ready for.