Opening Day starter Andrew Cashner is scheduled to throw a couple innings for the Padres’ High-A affiliate on Friday, according to Dennis Lin of the U~T San Diego. The pitch count will be capped at around 40 pitches for the 27-year-old hurler who has been on the DL since June 23rd with shoulder soreness.
Cashner is needed in the five-man rotation, but young pitchers have kept the Padres (51-60) competitive. Jesse Hahn is 7-2 with a 2.01 ERA since making his first career start on June 3rd. Odrisamer Despaigne is 2-3 with a 2.68 ERA since making his first career start on June 23rd.
Lin says Cashner is still a few rehab starts away from joining the Major League club, but I expect Eric Stults (4-13, 4.94 ERA) will be sent down when Cash comes back.
The Padre offense is beginning to produce, and the starting pitchers are enjoying the run support. Before going on the DL, Cashner was 2-6 with a 2.36 ERA. Several solid outings went down in the loss column for the ace of the staff.
Tommy Medica has been on fire since the All-Star break with a .457/.513/.771 slash, 3 HR, and 9 RBI.
Since coming back from the DL, Jedd Gyorko is batting .348 with 2 HR and 7 RBI.
Will Venable has also joined the parade at the plate. He is hitting .340 with 3 HR and 10 RBI since the break.
And newly-acquired Yangervis Solarte sets the tone with aggressive swings at the plate. He is hitting .280 with 2 HR and 9 RBI since the break.
With the offense heating up, Cashner’s potential comeback may be exactly what the Padres need to make a run at the wildcard.