Andrew Cashner, Robbie Erlin and Joseph (Joe) Wieland have been impressive. This according to Corey Brock of Padres.com, as shared on his blog “Follow the Padres.” Brock had a chance to sit down and talk with assistant GM A.J. Hinch about some players who have impressed him so far.
On the pitching side, it’s been an impressive group of young pitchers. Robbie Erlin, Joe Wieland, Andrew Cashner, three newcomers to the organization in the last calendar year have been positive for different reasons. Cashner looks the part, has life in his body and his arm. There is something about him that separates him from the pack. With the young starters (Erlin, Wieland and Casey Kelly), it’s been fun to see them do well. Starting pitching is so hard to find in our game.
Each of these three pitchers factors into both the Padres’ short-term and long-term goals heavily. Cashner is expected to contribute this season out of the bullpen. He will likely be given a set-up role to begin, and depending on his performance, may get a shot next spring at starting. Erlin and Wieland are two starters the entire organization is high on. They are expected to get some big league time this year and start to make an impact next season.
Cashner came over to the Padres in the trade that sent Anthony Rizzo to the Cubs. Most fans have not been happy with the trade, but should Cashner continue to impress, the move may start to balance out in the minds of the Padres faithful. Cashner was the 18th overall pick of the 2008 draft, and he has pitched in 65.0 big league innings with the Cubs. In that time, Cashner has posted a 4.29 ERA with an 8.0 K/9 ratio.
Erlin and Wieland were the return package from Texas when the Padres sent reliever Mike Adams to the Rangers. Both have yet to crack the major league lineup, but have impressed in their minor league careers. Erlin owns a career 2.61 ERA in 266.0 minor league innings pitched. Wieland owns a 3.28 ERA over the course of 4 seasons in the minors. Both are expected to either start at Triple-A Tucson or get promoted there very early in the 2012 season.
It’s still early in camp, but to have these three pitchers impressing people as they have is a good sign for the club. The Padres have a very small margin of error with their prospects, and they need just about every one of them to pan out. Perhaps this is the start of those prospects beginning to pan out. However, we won’t know for sure until they pitch in a Padres uniform.