This one almost got lost in all the hustle and bustle of the Winter Meetings. The San Diego Padres will not have their fireballing relief/starting pitcher Andrew Cashner for the start of the 2013 season. Cashner suffered a strange injury while hunting with friends.
According to Corey Brock of MLB.com, Cashner suffered a lacerated tendon in his right thumb while dressing meat with a friend. He has since had surgery to repair the tendon, but he will miss the start of next season. The good news from this, though, was that doctors do not not foresee any long-term issues as a result of the injury. It's a scary situation when we're talking about a tendon in the pitching hand.
The injury is exceptionally disappointing considering all the time Cashner missed last season. In his first year with San Diego, Cashner hit the disabled list with a strained lat muscle. When healthy, he split time between the bullpen and the starting rotation, but the Padres were not able to gauge his full potential. Depending on how long he is out in 2013, the same could be true next year.
Cashner has been rumored in numerous potential trades, but San Diego seems intent on keeping him. He regularly hit 100 mph on the radar guns and has the potential to be a good pitcher. What the Padres are still trying to figure out is whether his potential can be exploited better in the bullpen or the starting rotation.
Last season, Cashner posted a 3-4 record and a 4.27 ERA. He appeared in 33 games and made five starts in total. Not surprisingly, Cashner had much better success out of the bullpen. In 27 innings, he posted a 3.67 ERA. In 19 1/3 innings as a starter, Cashner had a 5.12 ERA. San Diego had plans for Cashner to be part of their rotation this year. We'll se if the injury changes anything.
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