Sing it with me everyone: Tis the season for broke closers. Tommy, Tommy John, John, John, John, John! That sounded great. Except for you in the back. Thought I heard an old mule getting strangled. The regular season hasn’t even started and we’ve lost Joakim Soria and Ryan Madson to the knife. Last time I checked – which was like five seconds ago so don’t even attempt discrediting it – those two didn’t have a long injury history. Throw in Drew Storen and his enflamed joint – hopefully he got his medical marijuana card for that – and you have a year already in flux at closer. In this year of twelve after twenty – sorry, Grey has mandated calling 2012 that for Razzball now – we have only had one closer from the ‘my arm will fall off eventually’ club go down to injury in Andrew Bailey. So what better year for Andrew Cashner to step up and give the San Diego Padres yet another reason to trade Huston Street to a contender by the All-Star Break if he doesn’t break before then (sorry, Pads fans, we know it’s true).
First off, there isn’t much to cull from his major league numbers at this point. He has been on and off the injury list more than Hugh Hefner has been with his Playboy models. This kid has struggled to stay healthy. Alright, I know I’m being a hypocrite talking about an oft-hurt pitcher in a post about taking over for hurt pitchers but indulge with me for a bit. Cashner is a former 1st round pick of the Cubs. If baseball were 4-H and it’s draft the fair, Cashner would be a prize winning swine (If you’re reading this Andrew, I’m sorry I called you swine). He has thrown gas for his career, averaging a 96.2 mph fastball; If you’re confused about mph and how it works, here’s a tutorial. He was originally tabbed as a starter in the minors but last year flourished in the bullpen with a 1.69 ERA. Now that last stat was a bit of a mirage due to his underlying xFIP, but he’s leaving a hitter’s palace for a pitcher’s haven. Personally, I have him down for a 3.50 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP and an 8 K/9 ratio with room for more. Couple that skill set with this being the Chinese year of the broken closer and you could have yourself some very cheap saves on the horizon. Currently under 5% owned in both yahoo and ESPN leagues, go cash in on Andrew.