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Last night, Chicago Cubs pitcher Andrew Cashner saw his first professional action in quite some time as he recovers from twin rotator cuff strains in his throwing shoulder.

Cashner, pitching the first inning for the AA Tennessee Smokies, struck out the first two batters he faced before giving up three straight hits and being pulled after throwing 23 pitches. Cashner was on a 25 to 30 pitch limit.

Reader Brandon was at the game and said that Cashner’s line is deceiving, and the performance was much more impressive. One of the three hits was solidly struck, while the other two were unlucky cheapies. Better, Brandon says Cashner looked very good out there.

Most importantly, Cashner left the start feeling good, and multiple reports have him hitting the high 90s with his fastball.

Cashner will get a few more one/two inning starts before likely returning to the Cubs in September, and doing some work out of the pen.

  • EQ

    woohoo!

  • Fishin Phil

    Keeping my fingers crossed.

  • CubFan Paul

    i’d rather have Cashner stay down & get stretched out to throw at least 75-80 pitches

    Coleman’s weak “stuff” is only good for 60-80pitches/the 2nd time thru the order he gets shelled

    Lopez has a 6th inning jinx that limits him to 5innings

    & Randy Wells is …randy wells ..weak stuff, cant adjust 2nd or 3rd time thru a order etc etc/all of the above ..a new GM will send him packing to AAA immediately after spring training next year

    if we’re going to settle for mediocrity and short outings in 3/5ths of the rotation, it might as well be Cashner for a couple weeks to end the season. He wants to start not relieve

    • Toosh

      Agreed.

    • Bails17

      Why would we want to stretch him out now? That makes zero sense. It is way to late in the season to be stretching him out. Let him continue to work out of the pen…then he can start a throwing program early enough to get him stretched out for next year.

      • CubFan Paul

        he’ll more than likely pitch in winter ball/arizona fall league getting stretched out so it totally makes sense the way i put it

    • Andrew

      I almost agree with you… but because this season is lost, I’d rather see Cashner brought along slowly. How he contributes to this year’s team does not matter. It’s what he can do for next year’s team that does. Giving him a few innings of big league ball and having him around the team when rosters expand will be good, but no need to push him until Spring Training.

    • Ron

      I wonder how much of Well’s problems are from a terrible approach (bad pitching coach). Gets hit early because he is predictable, makes it through the line up the second time, doesn’t make adjustment and gets shelled again. Or he sucks.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I doubt they want to see him throwing 75+ pitches any time soon. He’ll get stretched out for the start of next season.

  • Matt Murton

    So… now we have one pitching prospect in the system.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Well played.

  • Brandon Howes

    Just to follow up, Cashner looked good last night. First 2 batters were blown away very quickly and looked totally overmatched. He did give up a sharp single (after having 2 strikes on the batter) and each of the next two batters hit duck snorts; both after having 2 strikes. He easily could have gotten out of the inning with no damage, but the umpire was squeezing him. He approached 25 pitches and Harper came with the hook. From my seat (right behind smokies dugout), he dominated the hitters faced. It was clear, that he was on another level than what we are used to seeing down in AA.

    • CubFan Paul

      awesome ..scouts weren’t lying when they said he had “top of the rotation stuff”

      • hardtop

        hold on kids… i love that we are keeping hope alive here, but as MG said, lets try to reel it in. Remember, the last season we saw Cashner pitch more than 5.1 innings was on 2010. I’m sure I dont need to remind you guys, but I will anyway:

        His ERA was around 4.80… and thats after he settled down A LOT near the end of the season.

        He pitched 55 innings in 2010, and most of those appearances were only 1 inning.

        I recall a game i attended here in CO , I think it was a 17-2 loss, where he recorded 6 runs on 6 hits and did not get a single out, pulled in 0 innings. A few days before that I remember watching him give up 6 runs on 2 hits.

        Spring was okay, with a modest ERA (near 4) but a shit-tastic WHIP! (yes i know he was working on a changeup, and, yes, im aware of the things he did well)
        .
        He has one big leauge start.

        Please dont get me wrong, in August and Septemeber he had a lot of REALLY GOOD 1 or 2 inning appearances. I personally don’t believe he is the same pitcher he was in June-July of 2010, But we only have a handful of 1 inning appearances, a single start, and an A-ball rehab session to go by.
        Im as hopeful as the rest of you, but 2010 is only 5.1 innings *ago* for Cashner, and the fact of the matter is, we just dont know what we have here.

        • CubFan Paul

          all that said Hardtop, he’ll still be handed the 5th starter job at the end of spring training next year even without earning it ..they traded gorzelanny, cut silva, didnt stretch out samardjiza & gave cashner mediocre competition in j.Russell

          i expect a new GM to sign or trade for 2 starters to go along side Dempster & Garza and samardjiza to be stretched out to compete with Cashner to make up the 2012 rotation

          • hardtop

            yep, so we’ll just have to wait and see… finger crossed

    • Fishin Phil

      Thanks so much for the eyewitness report!

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Thanks, Brandon. We’re always happy to hear eye-witness accounts. Keep us posted on any other AA thoughts you have.

    • Jeff

      That’s good news from an eye witness, thanks for sharing Brandon. My constant Cubby paranoia kicked in last night when I saw that he left after 23 pitches, good to know he was overpowering with his fastball again.

  • MichiganGoat

    I just hope we don’t get our expectations out of control. It’s great that he looked great, but it was only 20+ pitches against A-ball players. We cannot count on him being a rotation lock for next year we need to prepare for 2012 with only Garza and Dempster as the guarantees- and that is rather sobering.

    • willis

      Yep, no need to get too fired up. Good news sure, but let’s temper the expectations. There is no reason to stretch things out right now. Let him dabble in the minors and Fall League, prepare as a starter and keep him on a short leash. And in the process pray his arm doesn’t fly off.

  • Steve

    To continue an earlier observation, yes, Randy Wells sucks. He is a long relief guy, at very best. Only in the Cubs “Bizzaro Universe” would he be trusted with a rotation spot. I wonder if that grocery store ever replaced Kurt Warner???

  • NL_Cubs

    Cashner…more hope on the way. I sure hope this kid pans out as a strong member of the rotation.

  • rocky8263

    What do you think happened to Randy Wells? Since the injury he is nowhere near the guy that pitched the last two years. Remember hard luck Randy in the 2009 season, decent stuff couldn’t buy a win. Is it coaching? Was is Rothschild that had him pitching?

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