Two seasons ago, Andrew Cashner was on his way up the escalator of value, but the escalator has reversed direction. He once had all of the raw ingredients for pitching dominance, from a high-octane heater that he could sink with arm-side run and locate on demand to a stable mechanical foundation. What he lacked were effective alternatives to pitch off his fastball, and though his slider had its moments, Cashner struggled to further develop his secondary pitches. In 2016, the fastball command abandoned him, as did the velocity that once made his heater stand out from the crowd. His walk rate spiked to 10.2 percent, two full percentage points higher than any season from 2013-15, and his average fastball dropped more than a full tick to a career-low of 94.5 mph. Without the fastball, Cashner is just a pitcher struggling to hit his spots with marginal stuff and a limited repertoire. He'll get a change of scenery after signing a one-year deal with Texas.
Cashner signed a one-year, $10 million contract with the Rangers on Friday, MLB.com's TR Sullivan reports. The 30-year-old righty will look to build back up his value on a one-year deal with Texas. He notched a 5.25 ERA, 1.53 WHIP and 112:60 K:BB in 132 innings with the Padres and Marlins in 2016, and was essentially unusable in fantasy. The 10.2 percent walk rate he posted was his worst mark since 2011 and his 1.30 HR/9 was well above his 0.88 career rate. His impressive raw stuff and guaranteed rotation spot with the Rangers makes him worthy of a flyer in deep leagues, but the shine has fully worn off the former top prospect.
Cashner didn't factor into the decision Friday versus the Nationals, giving up four earned runs on seven hits and two walks over four innings. He struck out three. The veteran righty saw Anthony Rendon and Stephen Drew take him deep for back-to-back solo homers in the fourth and saw Jose Lobaton and Trea Turner follow later in the inning with an RBI double and run-scoring single, respectively. Cashner wraps up the season with a rough September, with a 7.46 ERA and .402 wOBA surrendered in 25.1 innings cover his six starts.
Cashner didn't factor into the decision Friday versus the Braves, giving up an earned run on three hits and three walks over five innings. He struck out six. Cashner put a stop to his recent struggles Friday, after having given up 16 earned runs in three of his previous four starts. That stretch included outings where he yielded up six and seven earned runs, respectively, which had ballooned his ERA to 8.82 overall in September. The 30-year-old try to close out the season with a win when he takes on the Mets next Wednesday.
Cashner lasted just four innings, allowing three runs on five hits and three walks, in Sunday's comeback win over the Phillies. The Marlins were looking for Cashner to provide some relief to a worn out bullpen that has been heavily taxed during the weekend series but got no such help. The hard-throwing right-hander needed 90 pitches (53 strikes) to get through four frames and has managed to pitch six innings or more in only one his last seven starts. Cashner has posted just one decent start over four September starts and holds a brutal 8.82 ERA and 2.08 WHIP over his past 16.1 innings pitched. The Marlins continue to hang in the playoff race, but they'll need to see some improvement Cashner during his next start, Friday against the Braves.
Cashner was a mess on Monday, allowing seven runs in two innings against the Braves. He gave up six hits and walked two without striking out a batter. Cashner has not delivered since being traded to the Marlins, allowing 27 earned runs in 39.1 innings since the deal. The hard-throwing righty has now allowed 13 runs in 12.1 September innings. He'll try to get on track against the Phillies on Sunday.