On Friday, June 8, the Blue Jays play the second game of a four-game series against the Baltimore Orioles. J.A. Happ will oppose Andrew Cashner in the matchup.
Andrew Cashner was originally drafted in the first round of the 2008 June amateur players draft by the Chicago Cubs—before bouncing around the majors. In total, the right-hander has worked parts of seasons with the Chicago Cubs, San Diego Padres, Miami Marlins, and, now, the Baltimore Orioles.
Cashner had two above-average seasons in San Diego and has been involved in trade rumors ever since. Last year, while playing for the Rangers, the big righty started 28 games, maintaining an 11-11 record, 3.40 ERA, 4.61 FIP, 1.320 WHIP, and a good 139 ERA+.
Following his solid year for the Rangers, the Orioles handed the veteran a 2 year, $16 million deal, with a $10 million vesting option for 2020. While his ERA was solid last year, his FIP was a glaring problem—over a full run higher than his ERA.
Predictably, Cashner has not maintained these stellar results while in Baltimore. The right-hander has hit a tough regression, posting a 2-7 record, 5.02 ERA, 5.02 FIP, 1.673 WHIP, and a poor 84 ERA+. Overall, the righty has been worth just 0.3 fWAR.
The former first-round pick tries to keep hitters off balance with a selection of five different pitches—a sinker, four-seam fastball, change-up, cutter, and curveball. Despite offering five different pitches, the veteran relies heavily on his sinker.
Cashner has used his sinking fastball 38.2% of the time this season. The sinker averages a decent 93.11 mph. Despite its intention, the sinker has not produced many ground balls this year—just 40.54% of balls in play. Even worse, it has allowed a huge .330 BAA, .560 SLGA, and .231 ISO against. In raw numbers, the right-hander has allowed thirteen extra-base hits (nine doubles and four home runs) off the sinker.
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The veteran hurler uses his four-seam fastball 23.8% of the time while averaging a good velocity of 94.02 mph. Interestingly, the heater has allowed more line drives—26.67% of balls in play—than ground balls—20% of balls in play. However, the fastball produces by far the most fly balls, at a decent rate of 40% of balls in play.
The right-hander changes speed on batters 13.1% of the time. The off-speed pitch maintains a velocity around 84 mph with arm-side drop and fade. The change has produced the most whiffs—32.56% of swings—and a decent amount of strikeouts relative to use (11). However, it has been hit quite hard, allowing a .450 SLG against.
Cashner offers a cutter 12.9% of the time while averaging a velocity of 88.31 mph—a fairly substantial drop from his four-seamer and sinker. The cutter has allowed a high line drive rate of 30.30% of balls in play. Interestingly, however, it has only allowed three extra-base hits.
The big right-hander has broken off hooks 11.8% of the time this season. The relatively quick 81 mph curve maintains decent 12-6 movement and arm side fade. The breaking ball has been demolished by opposing hitters, however. The curveball has allowed an insane .750 SLGA, .406 ISO against, and six extra-base hits—three home runs, two doubles, and a triple.
The righty has incurred a 10% drop in ground ball rate since last year—from 48.6% to 38.2%. As well, his hard hit rate has jumped over 4%–from 28.4% to 32.9%. As a contact pitcher, these numbers are quite alarming for Cashner.
The right-hander strikes out a below average 19.3% of batters while allowing a fair amount of walks. This year, he has allowed walks at a terrible rate of 10.6% and has posted a poor 4.34 BB/9.
The Blue Jays have a fair amount of experience against the Texas native, with mixed results. The leaders of the group are Aledmys Diaz, Kendrys Morales, and Kevin Pillar. Diaz owns a great .429 OBP against Cashner; Morales owns a .500 OBP with a home run and two RBIs; Pillar has managed three hits, including a double, in 7 at-bats. Devon Travis, Russell Martin, and Justin Smoak each have one hit in eight or nine at-bats.
The Blue Jays snatched a win from the jaws of defeat last night, rallying in the ninth inning. They look to win back to back games for the first time since April 29th and 30th when they defeated Texas and Minnesota on consecutive nights.