Here we are, one month into the season, the Padres, who had hoped to compete for a National League Western Division title, or at least a Wild Card, have accomplished that mission…for now. They are three games under .500, their offense is comparable to that of a good American Legion team in California at this point, and people just aren’t going to pay big dollars to come out and see that ineptness.
But tonight is Friday. It is the opening night of a 10-game homestand, in which they start by hosting the worst team not only in their division, but all of Major League Baseball. The Arizona Diamondbacks come to Petco Park, and what do they get as a welcome gift? The only player on the Padres’ roster who is performing well enough for YOU the fan, to come out and see on a regular basis: Mr. Andrew Cashner.
The Padres’ hitters aren’t supporting their ace, scoring a minuscule 2.65 runs per game. While Cashner’s record is under .500, the remainder of his peripherals have ace-stuff written all over them: a 2.68 ERA, 36 Ks, and only 2 home runs allowed. Four of Cashner’s six starts in 2014 have been quality starts, including a complete game, 1-hit shutout victory against one of the best teams in baseball, the Detroit Tigers.
While Cashner can’t do anything about the lack of production from his lineup, he can continue keeping them in games every fifth day; he can snap losing streaks (the Padres are on a two-game variety right now), and he can prove that he is worth the long-term organizational investment that players like free agent Josh Johnson weren’t. In the past, the Padres have traded away key pieces of their organization rather than try and keep them in SoCal. Do Jake Peavy and Adrian Gonzalez ring any bells? Send a message to Padres’ ownership. Let them know that Andrew Cashner is the face of THIS Padres’ team, and the organization should make an effort to make sure he feels loved and appreciated before it’s time to deal him. If they offer him a contract extension now, who knows, he just might take it! Regardless of whether Cashner is in San Diego long term, or just for the time being, if you’re in the area, and want to see one of the game’s best, go out to Petco Park tonight and take in Andrew Cashner.