Apr 26, 2014; Washington, DC, USA; San Diego Padres starting pitcher Andrew Cashner (34) throws the ball during the first inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
[PA Announcement]: Tim Stauffer, you may return to the bullpen.
Praise Jeebus, it looks like we’re going to see Andrew Cashner back on the hill as early as this Sunday. The San Diego Padres’ ace threw a 65-pitch simulated game on Monday, which may end up as the final step in his rehabilitation from a right elbow injury suffered in mid-May.
Cashner’s rehab has gone smoothly, with no setbacks at any point during the 3-week recovery. Monday’s pitching session got this response from manager Buddy Black on Monday:
"He was turning the ball loose — fastball was good, and he threw all of his pitches. He’s not that far removed from a Major League game. If he feels good and ready to go — knowing Cash, he’ll be honest with us — I don’t think another [simulated] game will be needed.”h/t to Corey Brock at mlb.padres.com"
Today, padres.com lists Cashner as the starting pitcher for Sunday’s game against the Washington Nationals.
Cashner and Black have indicated during the recovery, that the pitcher’s grip on his slider may have been the cause of the injury. Cash has been tinkering with the grip during his stint on the DL.
"I’m just kind of moving my fingers on the ball where I can’t wrap it, [so I]stay behind the ball. Hopefully we don’t miss a beat when I come back,” reports Brock."
The Padres have gone 7-11 since Cashner’s last start. Stauffer, usually the team’s middle reliever, made three starts during Cashner’s absence. He pitched very well in his first start, but got shelled his last two times out. Stauffer, a former first-round draft pick, has always seemed to pitch better out of the ‘pen.