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April 25, 2014

Raising Aces

Too Soon to Swoon?

by Doug Thorburn


Evaluations of player performance during the first month of the season come with small-sample caveats, but we can try to separate the flukes from the real improvements by identifying meaningful changes in mechanics, approach, or repertoire. Some of the gains are legit, while others are merely a numerical mirage, so we must look beyond the stats in order to tell which players will continue to impress over the coming months of the season. Let's take a look at some of the more surprising April performances by pitchers and attempt to determine whether it's too soon to swoon over their skills.

Andrew Cashner, Padres

Year

GS

IP

ERA

K %

BB %

H %

HR %

2013

26

175.0

3.09

18.1%

6.7%

21.4%

1.7%

2014

5

34.3

2.10

22.6%

7.3%

19.0%

1.5%

Cashner was a popular pick to break out this season, and my TINSTAAPP compadre Paul Sporer was leading the charge. Coming off of his best season as a pro, Cashner seemed like a safe bet to add more swing-and-miss to his game, since he’s armed with a mid-to-high 90s fastball and pitches his home games in one of baseball's friendliest environments for pitchers. The early statistical returns have been encouraging, but the urge to swoon is largely driven by a single pitch: his devastating sinker.

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Related Content:  Andrew Cashner,  Martin Perez,  Jesse Chavez

6 comments have been left for this article. (Click to hide comments)

BP Comment Quick Links

mlherr

I was at Perez' game against the Athletics last Wednesday. Having gotten over the depression from seeing my team getting blanked, I can appreciate what a terrific game he pitched. Also notable, however, was how sharp his infield defense was. It reminded me of how well coached the left-side infielders were when Ron Washington was third-base coach for the Athletics.

Apr 25, 2014 05:50 AM
rating: 3
 
danrnelson

I've watched almost every pitch Cashner has thrown this season and am absolutely head over heels for him and that fastball. Is there anyone that tracks strikeouts looking? I've been trying to find out if he leads the league, because he's got to be close to 40-50% of his Ks being of the backward variety.

I really hope he can stay healthy for a full season, because he really could become one of the best pitchers in the game.

Apr 25, 2014 08:10 AM
rating: 2
 
MFBabyFeets

I like Cashner's demeanor after these K's. Both times his first step after landing is directly towards the dugout, as if to say "my work is done here."

Apr 25, 2014 08:57 AM
rating: 4
 
Johnston

I admire the way he does that. Very serious, very professional, very intense.

Apr 26, 2014 19:18 PM
rating: 0
 
noone99

How about eovaldi? Awesome article

Apr 25, 2014 13:04 PM
rating: 1
 
R.A.Wagman

Great work. Would love your assessment of Drew Hutchison.

Apr 25, 2014 14:08 PM
rating: 0
 
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<< Previous Article
Premium Article What Scouts Are Saying... (04/25)
<< Previous Column
Premium Article Raising Aces: Masahiro... (04/18)
Next Column >>
Premium Article Raising Aces: Too Earl... (05/02)
Next Article >>
Overthinking It: Matt ... (04/25)

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