San Diegan Gets Chance to Start With the Padres

Trevor Cahill is coming home looking to get his old gig back

At the start of Padres Spring Training we asked Bob Scanlan, Padres broadcaster and long-time friend of NBC 7 SportsWrap, to name a couple of guys who might be surprisingly strong contributors in 2017. The first name out of his mouth was a pitcher with San Diego ties.

“I think Trevor Cahill might be one of those guys,” said Scan. “He’s looked great. I’ve been watching his bullpens and live pitching sessions. He looks really solid. He could be sort of the Drew Pomeranz of this year for the Padres. A guy who was struggling but came on and all of a sudden became a big factor in the starting rotation. I think Cahill can be that guy.”

Pomeranz was a starter who became a reliever who earned another starting job in San Diego, went to the All-Start Game … and was traded to Boston for Anderson Espinoza, one of the top pitching prospects in all of baseball.

The comparison with Cahill is spot-on. Trevor was a starter who last year moved to the bullpen full-time with the World Series champion Chicago Cubs. Now the Vista native is trying to start again with his home town team, a possibility that was as important to him as coming back to San Diego.

“I heard nothing but good things about the staff and just thought it was a good opportunity,” said Cahill. “I get a chance to go back home and play in front of the family. I just want a chance to go out there and show what I can do.”

With a week left until Opening Day, Cahill has been even better than Pomeranz was last year. He leads the Padres in innings pitched and strikeouts and opponents are only hitting .155 against him in the notoriously offense-friendly Cactus League.

His last two starts have been fantastic. How about these combined numbers against the Giants and Cubs:

-    10.0 Innings pitched
-    3 Hits
-    1 Earned run
-    15 Strikeouts

Cahill was an All-Star with Oakland in 2010 but has never been able to replicate that success. Going to the bullpen with the Cubs changed his approach to pitching in general.

“It feels like as a starter you have to pace yourself. Out of the ‘pen you’re able to come in and throw everything as hard as you can and go straight to the breaking stuff and off-speed stuff,” said Cahill.

The tactic worked for him in later innings in Chicago so he plans on taking it to the mound in the first inning in San Diego instead of worrying about setting up hitters for later at-bats.

“Nowadays with the bullpens as good as they are there’s not as much emphasis on going deep. It’s like if you can put up five zeroes it’s better than seven innings with two runs almost. I’m going to go out there and get my, hopefully, 110 pitches and see how deep it takes me.”

If it works the new mindset has already put him back in the starting rotation and could even take him back to the All-Star Game.

Contact Us