The Padres are moving fireballer Andrew Cashner from the bullpen to the rotation and will give the 25-year-old right-hander a start Saturday in Milwaukee.
Cashner started one game for the Cubs in 2011, allowing just one run on two hits in 5.1 innings on April 5, but he then missed most of the season with a rotator cuff injury. He came back in September to pitch six more games out of the bullpen, where he stayed, even after being traded to San Diego. In 27 appearances for the Padres, he has a 3.81 ERA with 29 strikeouts and 16 walks in 29 innings.
The Padres hope that going to the starting rotation will help his command and feel.
"Any time a pitcher gets more repetitions, absolutely it can help his consistency and help his ability to improve," manager Bud Black told reporters (via InsideThePadres.blogspot.com). "I think his mix of pitches will enable him to start, possibly moving forward if we think that's the way to go."
Black added that he hoped Cashner, who hasn't thrown more than 39 pitches in a game this season, can last three innings. Cashner's only recorded more than an inning once this season. That was against the Giants on Tuesday, when he gave up a run on two hits in 1 2/3 innings. He struck out three in the outing, using 26 pitches.
Cashner said he is excited by the move but notes he may need to make some starts in the minors if he is to transition to the rotation full-time.
"It's something I wanted to do," he told reporters (via InsideThePadres.blogspot.com). "I didn't think it would be this year I'd get a chance to start, but I'm excited about it and looking forward to the chance."
Cashner was the main piece in the offseason trade that sent minor-league first baseman Anthony Rizzo to the Cubs.
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