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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

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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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