Andrew Cashner “Tweaked” His Oblique and Other Rhyming Bullets

So, that happened. If the Cardinals manage to win this World Series, they’ll forever be discussing “Game Six” in the same way that we discuss “Game Six,” except they will not follow up their discussion of “Game Six” by thrusting an ice pick into their eye. I am torn between credit and hostility. The Cardinals came back again, and again, and again in impressive, and improbable (down to their last strike twice), fashion, forcing a Game Seven. The Rangers’ staff committed the dreaded sin of preparing the clubhouse for a champagne celebration before the final out was recorded. Shame, shame, I know your name.

  • Tom Ricketts and Theo Epstein were spied at a bar in Ukranian Village taking in the World Series together. If that seems a little odd – billionaire owner out at a bar with rock star President – keep in mind, Theo may not have a ton of friends in Chicago just yet. He and Ricketts may be becoming buddies, and Ricketts has always been out and about in Chicago. They’re just people, after all. One disconcerting note? When David Freese hit the walk-off, game-winning homer … Tom Ricketts clapped. The honeymoon is over. (I kid. Mostly.)
  • Earlier this week, I asked around about Andrew Cashner, and why he hadn’t pitched in the AFL in a couple weeks. Carrie Muskat told me all was well, and that Cashner would be pitching this week – she did not elaborate. Well, it turns out that Cashner was hurt. You can unclench, though, because the injury was unrelated to the rotator cuff strain that ended his 2011 season after one start – Cashner slightly “tweaked” his oblique, and, out of an abundance of caution, the Cubs decided to have Cashner sit for a while. He’s expected to pitch today or tomorrow.
  • Bruce Levine chatted yesterday, and, among his thoughts: things don’t look good for Mike Quade, Bud Black (Padres) is the recent favorite to replace Quade, the offseason focus will probably be pitching and defense, Carlos Zambrano will “definitely” be gone this Winter, and Ryne Sandberg would take the Cubs’ managerial job “in a heartbeat.”
  • Keith Law also chatted yesterday, and, among his thoughts: the Cubs did well by getting Hoyer and McLeod, Cashner and Carpenter both look good in the AFL, Junior Lake doesn’t look like a future MLB regular offensive player or defender, Hayden Simpson is already a “bust,” and the Cubs’ 2011 draft was “expensive” and not “a great one” (wow – he’s standing alone on that one).
  • Junior Lake stole another couple bases in the AFL on Wednesday, and he’s going to break the league’s record for steals. Josh Vitters is playing more and more in right field.
  • Everything you wanted to know (and a whole bunch you didn’t) about incoming GM, Jed Hoyer. A good read if you’ve got 10 minutes.
  • Phil Rogers suggests Bobby Valentine as a future manager for the Cubs. Shrug – I’ve never been overly impressed, but neither do I dislike him.
  • Two Cubs’ minor leaguers, SS Jonathan Mota and OF Jim Adducci, re-signed minor league deals with the Cubs. Once you reach this stage of your career (becoming a minor league free agent), a future with the big club becomes unlikely.
  • A “Super Two” conversation popped up in the comments yesterday, specifically related to Starlin Castro’s arbitration status for next year. He is not going to be arbitration-eligible until 2013 at the earliest, and this recent post at MLBTradeRumors should help explain why. If “Super Two” status survives into the next labor agreement, it looks like 2013 is the year we’ll be talking about Castro as a potential “Super Two,” not 2012. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, don’t worry: the short of it is, Starlin Castro remains cheaply under team control for several more years.
  • Speaking of the labor agreement, we’re rounding into the home stretch, but amateur signings remains the sticky wicket. Emperor Selig wants a “hard slotting” system in the draft (i.e., pick number 1 gets $X million (no negotiation), pick number 2 gets $Y million, etc.), and the players understandably oppose. So the other option being discussed is an overall draft spending cap, which is just a terrible idea. The reason Selig wants to impose these kind of limits is to improve competitive balance – the thinking is, large market clubs can spend unlimitedly, and thus outclass smaller market clubs. The problem with a draft cap? It could have the opposite of the intended effect. Because small market clubs frequently pick early, they will *HAVE* to spend a huge portion of their “cap” on early round picks, leaving them with almost no money to spend later on “over-slot” types, which can instead be gobbled up by larger market, later picking clubs. Further, in recent years, smaller market clubs have been spending more and more on the draft, realizing that it is the great equalizer, over time, at the Major League level.

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

87 responses to “Andrew Cashner “Tweaked” His Oblique and Other Rhyming Bullets”

  1. Fishin Phil

    • Phil Rogers suggests Bobby Valentine as a future manager for the Cubs. Shrug – I’ve never been overly impressed, but neither do I dislike him.

    The more I read Phil Rogers, the less I think of his opinion.  I intensly dislike Bobby Valentine.

    1. MichiganGoat

      It’s all about Castrogate 2011

    2. Ian Afterbirth

      No Bobby Valentine PLEASE!!!!

      1. Raymond Robert Koenig

        Agreed!

  2. Fishin Phil
    • Keith Law also chatted yesterday, and, among his thoughts: the Cubs did well by getting Hoyer and McLeod, Cashner and Carpenter both look good in the AFL, Junior Lake doesn’t look like a future MLB regular offensive player or defender, Hayden Simpson is already a “bust,” and the Cubs’ 2011 draft was “expensive” and not “a great one” (wow – he’s standing alone on that one).

    I know Keith Law is highly respected in the industry, but I still can’t understand why.  His crystal ball is only slightly more accurate than my Ouija board.

    1. hansman1982

      I was going to post the same thing – unless it is a mike trout type prospect he hates them all – and if he such a great scout why is he schlepping for ESPN?

      1. JulioZuleta

        Keith Law has completely taken to the “say the controversial thing to get put on blogs to make fans angry/get more hits approach”. I haven’t read any of his stuff in a couple months now.

        1. CubFan Paul

          i hope he’s wrong on j.Lake ..i doubt Lake wants to be a pitcher so maybe he’ll work harder and prove douches like Law wrong

      2. montellew

        I’m fortunate enough to live within 2-3 minutes of the Kernels Single-A ballpark here, and mike trout rocked over here for the Kernels when we had him….was happy he got promoted so early, but sad to see him go!

        1. Hawkeye

          Kernals, as in Cedar Rapis Kernals?

  3. Internet Random

    That bar is an easy, easy stumble from my home.  I’m a little pissed that I missed that.

    1. funkster

      Same here!

  4. Kyle

    The Cubs could trade for Bryce Harper, put him in Iowa, and Keith Law would say he looks like a poor man’s Randall Simon.

  5. MichiganGoat

    FUK YU CARDINALS (South Park reference)

    1. EQ76

      and whale and a dolphin!

  6. hansman1982

    Ok, I give up…I THOUGHT I knew something about arbitration and service time and when a player becomes eligible and super-two but clearly I have no idea what I am talking about…if Castro isn’t eligible until after 2013 as a super-two (under current rules) then I am clearly confused

    1. CubFan Paul

      not eligible til after the 2013 season or after the 2012 season ..im comfused too, after 2013 would be almost 3yrs of playing..

    2. hansman1982

      Brett,
      After reviewing the MLBPA FAQ site (http://mlbplayers.mlb.com/pa/info/faq.jsp) your link and Baseball-Reference I disagree with your statement that Castro will be eligible for Arb after 2013. If you look at Tim Lincecum he had about the same service status as Castro will have and he was arb-eligible after the 2009 campaign. 2007 was his first year in the bigs at all and he started 24 games, 2008 was 34 and 2009 was 33. For Castro he will have 2.150 years of service at the end of this year and (again provided the Super-Two stays the same which it wont but just for arguments sake) which will put him in the Super-Two status at the end of this year.

  7. joeydafish

    Is this the beginning of the end for Josh Vitters being the next Ron Santo? He is now playing in the outfield…oops. Quade has our best offensive minor leaguer LaHair playing the outfield instead of first base just to keep Pena and his miserable ba with RISP happy? Colvin is stuck on the bench just to get a first baseman some outfield playing time or to keep Soriano’s “Pujols-like” presence in the game during a catastrophic season? Mr. Epstein has to be completly dumb founded by such moves and is hopefully sharpening his axe as I type. I hope he gives Ryno the shot at manager and let him evolve from the beginning with some young players. After all, Ryno has the minor leage track record that he was told he needed to obtain and he CAN BE the next Francona or Black if just given the chance to actually BEGIN a career as a major league manager. Oh well, I can’t get too greedy, as long as IT IS NOT QUADE.

    1. johnbres2

      Joey–good points. You are right on about Q-ball’s silly and unproductive personnel moves on the field. It sounds like Ryno is “not on the short list.” For some reason, teams are shying away from him. My belief is that teams think he lacks fire.

    2. Brandon - AA Correspondent

      Josh has a ways to go before I would consider him a legit 3B prospect. He can hit the fastball, but anything with a wrinkle in it made him look terrible. His defense on balls hit right to him was decent, but in over 40 games watching him in person, I was terribly disappointed in his overall effort. He looks lethargic. Never saw him even get a glove on a ball that he dove for. Flaherty and DJ (in 1st half) were CLEARLY Harper’s first choice on defense. Rebel Ridling was a superior hitter and defender at 1B. To his credit, when Brett Jackson was promoted to AAA he did step up a bit, but from my seat in AA…the 2nd half was the Steve Clevenger, Rebel Ridling and Jae-Hoon Ha show. My belief is that had Josh Vitters not been a 1st rounder and given so much money that he would have been a bench player for the Smokies last year. I know this sounds critical, but I have to be honest. I like Josh as a person, but like I said….so far; I believe he has underachieved in his career. I honestly would be shocked to see him break camp in AAA. I still thinks he has a half season in AA in 2012 before moving to Iowa.

      1. CubFan Paul

        do you think DJ could beat out d.Barney for 2nd base in the spring? i don’t think Dj would struggle to SLG over .400 in the majors..

      2. Shawn

        I saw Rebel Ridling a few times when he was at Peoria. I liked what I saw, so I have kept an eye on what he has done as he has moved up the system.  Other than age, what has kept him from being mentioned as a top Cub prospect?  Because, it seems to me, he has hit at every level.

      3. Cedlandrum

        Look I don’t mean to call you out Brandon but I’m guessing Harper didn’t think Vitters was a bench player. I don’t care what Vitters draft status was and I don’t think Harper does either. The fact is that a kid that you said should have been on the bench had a pretty good year at 21 in AA. He sucks defensively, but he hit with runners in scoring position all year long.

        Also all 40 of your games you went to must have been in April and August because if I remember correctly Rebel was about a .260 hitter the rest of the year. So he wasn’t superior. He had two hot months. Rebel has a good eye and he isn’t bad defensively, but he was 25 this past year so one should expect him to be a bit more developed.

        As for Flaherty and LeMaheiu being first choice on Defense. I think they are both very good defenders and people who question them haven’t seen them. So it doesn’t surprise me that they would be 1st choice. They would be mine too.

        All this to say your Vitters commentary doesn’t fly that well. Sometimes personal bias causes us to not see the whole picture. What you describe as weaknesses are present, but they don’t paint the whole picture. You calling him a bench player doesn’t play out.

        1. Jeff

          I agree, I also seem to remember Vitters driving in a lot of clutch runs this year, and several interviews talking up his growth after all the promotions from Tennessee, and how much of a leader he became.  I don’t think he’ the next Mike Schmidt by any means, but at 21, he still looks like a pretty good prospect to me.

  8. packman711

    That’s crazy. I was at fifty/50 last night. Totally didn’t even see them.

  9. chris margetis

    Ricketts is a part owner of the bar they were at along with (seriously) Curtis Granderson and Glendon Rusch.

    1. JulioZuleta

      pretty random group

  10. johnbres2

    Brett–just one point, but it may be a crucial one. Like you, I first cringed when I heard that Ricketts clapped at Freese’s homer. But the more I think about it, the more I am glad that he can revel in a moment like that. It doesn’t make him less of a fan, that he wasn’t psychotically re-living childhood (and adult) traumas at the end of that game last night. In fact, it shows that he is better emotionally equipped than I and many of us are to be in charge of the Cubs. A real baseball lover just had to love that game. But my hatred for the Cardinals seemed greater than my love for the game last night. Ricketts is far more likely to get the prize he wants by being above such pettiness. For him, it is about wanting to make the Cubs a great team. As a businessman, he sees the Cardinals as a successful business, not the source of nightmares. More evidence that we are in good hands.

    1. Dooglass

      I think that you are right on. The Cubs ownership and fans need to dial back the emotions. Every time something doesn’t go our way we look to the past to make sense of it. It’s getting us nowhere. We are bringing in bright minds to run the organization. The kind of people that can keep their emotions in check. I got mildly pissed last night when Freese hit the winning home run, but in the big picture who cares the cubs weren’t playing. I’m going to take the time to enjoy the best front office my team has ever put together…. and if one of these bitter beat writers bring up Andy MacPhail one more time I will hunt them down myself. I kid I kid.

  11. jstraw

    He clapped? Please tell me that’s a lie.

    1. johnbres2

      The article said Ricketts clapped. I took it as: “wow, can you believe it? What a game this is!” Ricketts does not get bogged down in “hatred” of other teams. He is far too rich, I mean mature, for that. “Jack Straw from Wichita, cut his buddy down…….”

      1. Laura

        Maybe he was just taking the high road, knowing people were watching them. Can you imagine, after the recent up-turns and attention the Cubs are getting, if a Cardinal reporter caught wind of Ricketts getting pissed after seeing that game? “Not only did the Cardinals come back twice from the dead, but they also rained on the Cubs fans recent good news.”
        If that’s the case, I can excuse him for clapping.

    2. hansman1982

      meh, when Freese tied it in the ninth I cheered a bit because it was a great hit in a situation that most kids pretend about in their backyards – bottom of the ninth, down by 2, 2 outs and Freese steps to the plate…granted he didnt hit the game winning homer then but great situation none-the-less

      1. Rancelot

        Great hit? Nelson Cruz butchered the play! Most starting right fielders make the play and the Rangers would still be celebrating the championship this morning. The more I see this series the more I believe that every team has a chance…these teams have some serious flaws.

  12. johnbres2

    good for you hansman! I aspire toward that purity of love for the game, but my disdain for the Cardinals is too visceral for me to deal with it in a normal healthy way.

  13. die hard

    Would anyone trade Castro for Cano?…I would

    1. CNB

      YOU ARE CRAZY. Cano has mehh maybe 3-4 good years left in him. Castro he stil has 10-15 GREAT years in him.

    2. Fishin Phil

      And this is why you were not interviewed for the GM job.

    3. Internet Random

      Seriously, if anyone knows of a Google Chrome extension to block/filter certain commentors from WordPress blogs, I’d really appreciate the link.

      Second best, if there’s a WordPress extension allowing same, please find it and help me lobby Bert to install it.

  14. die hard

    want to win next year or year after?..make the trade

    1. jstraw

      No…I don’t. Thanks for playing.

  15. Jake

    Brett, long time reader, great site you have here. The first one I read every day, great job! I live in central Missouri, but originally from Peoria. You don’ t know how hard it is to live over here and be a die hard cubs fan. My wife, son, and most of my co-workers are Cards fans. My wife thinks I should cheer for the Cards because they’re central division and because I should want them to win for her. Ugh! Last nite truly was a “baseball roller-coaster”. Granted the Cards are a great ball team, but the way I see it Texas pitching just kept handing it to STL. Pitches over the middle of the plate, like the walk off homer, just won’t, like they say here in MO, “getter’ dun”. Once again, thanks!

    1. hardtop

      one word jake: divorce
      any judge worth his salt will grant you custody of your boy considering the alternative would be him growing into a porn-stached, mullet wearing, barbed wire tattoo having, cardnial loving troglodyte. you can save your son jake, its not too late for him.

  16. Brent

    Can’t we all just root for a Rangers win after a 9th inning collapse tonight that sends the Cards into a 103-year tailspin? BTW, did anyone else see that Cards fan who caught the winning HR got to meet Freese and brought his friend, a Cubs fan?:

    http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/blog/big_league_stew/post/The-story-of-the-Cardinals-fan-who-returned-Free?urn=mlb-wp25597

    One question: Why is one of our own smiling in that photo? Grab the bat and hit him in the nuts!

  17. pfk

    A hot tempered guy like Valentine would never survive the Chicago pressure cooker. I think he’d be a good manager – just not in this situation with the Cubs. Just as Boston needed a level headed and calm guy like Francona, so do the Cubs. As crazy as Ozzie is/was, he relished the pressure and media circus in Chicago.

  18. Hrubes20

    FWIW, the lastest I have seen on Bud’s draft spending proposal is that it would be an overall amateur draft AND International Free Agent budget, that would depend entirely on a team’s draft position. No idea about what numbers are being thrown out, but something probably like $15 million for the team picking 1st, $14.5 for the team picking 2nd, and so on. No longer could the Cubs be taking the Dillon Maples of the world in the 14th round and pay him $2.5 million. Unfortunately, this would also likely push a ton of prep players into taking football scholarships and thus possibly losing them to the game altogether.

  19. johnbres2

    That is hilarious that the guy in the Cubs shirt got in the pic. I re-watched the latter inning highlights and could better appreciate the game without so much emotion involved. The Cardinals are just a clutch team, and the players attribute a lot of that to TLRs attitude. Freese said “Tony is all about winning.” Did you see Chris Carpenter laughing his ass off and having a good time in the 9th or 10th inning, while the Cards were losing? Those guys have ice water in their veins. Really, despite my damaged Cubs’s psyche, it is hard to not admire the Cardinals as an organization.

  20. Mike Foster

    “…and the players understandably oppose.” Ah, think you meant to say the Agents oppose, right?

    ANd yes, NO Bobby the whiner Valentine.