After a month-long stint on the disabled list with elbow discomfort, San Diego Padres’ pitcher Andrew Cashner hopes to make a triumphant return in front of the home crowd tonight as the Friars play host to the Washington Nationals in Game 2 of their weekend series. The Nationals are dealing with some injury issues of their own, starting right-hander Blake Treinen (0-2, 1.40 ERA), who is taking the rotation slot of the injured Gio Gonzalez. Treinen’s last start, while a quality one, wasn’t enough as he and the Nats fell to the Pirates 3-1 back on May 22nd.
Cashner (2-5, 2.35 ERA) hopes to improve his record, as he has been a hard-luck loser one too many times this season. Cashner and Pads’ manager Bud Black, believe the elbow issues were the result of gripping the baseball on his slider improperly. Cashner has altered the grip, and has thrown pain-free over his last several workouts.
“I’m just kind of moving my fingers on the ball where I can’t wrap it, [so I] stay behind the ball,” said Cashner, who reported no discomfort after throwing a simulated game Monday.
Cashner’s return is a great sign for a team that has relied solely on it’s pitching due to an anemic offense, that is still on pace to finish as one of the worst in Major League history, and easily the worst in Padres’ franchise history. The Friars have used up to eight different starters–from rookies such as Jesse Hahn, to veteran journeymen like Billy Buckner until Cashner was ready to re-assume his role atop the Padres’ rotation.
Cashner’s last outing against the Nationals, came on April 26th in Washington, D.C., where he allowed 2 earned runs (4 total), while striking out five, allowing eight hits, and walking one in a 4-0 loss. The team continues to hope that the season-long slump with the bats finally ends, but it won’t be easy, as Jedd Gyorko is now on the DL with foot issues. First pitch is at 7:10 p.m. PDT.
Additional Notes of Interest:
-LHP Jason Lane has been designated for assignment to correspond with the activation of Cashner from the disabled list.