Red Sox newest starter Andrew Cashner is symptomatic of 2019 pitching woes
By Rick McNair
The Boston Red Sox pitching woes did not dramatically improve after two starts by Andrew Cashner. The reality is that this was a smart move and one that may fail.
Things are going bad when the Boston Red Sox make the right move and it turns as sour as month-old milk left in a fridge on the kaput. That is the Andrew Cashner deal after two forgettable starts. Cashner was supposed to go deep, but the only thing I saw going deep was Trey Mancini in Baltimore. Hector Velazquez, we miss you!
Cashner would certainly qualify for an NQQS (Not Quite Quality Start) in his return to “Charm City” which was the site for the first casualty of the Civil War. But the baseball war also had a casualty and that was the Red Sox lineup which managed a lone hit against a pitcher whose name I find near impossible to spell.
Cashner was the “Ace” of the O’s staff which gives you an idea of just how awful the home run prone Orioles staff is. The trade cost the Red Sox two low-level prospects who may be future All-Stars or never get to A+ ball. The risk – an acceptable one – that you take.
Cashner is certainly familiar with the American League East and the trade took the 32-year-old righty into the heat of a playoff race, but in Baltimore, the heat was simply playing out a schedule for a dreadful O’s team that is the bottom rung of all 30 teams enjoying the camaraderie of an exclusive club.
What Cashner has been gifted by the opportunistic trade is a team with a grinding offense and above-average defense. So far, that offense will certainly be presented a challenge each time Cashner wanders to the hill. So much for a fifth starter.
That said, time is on Cashner’s side since he is the fifth starter for the rest of the year unless he really hits the skids. Cashner may not represent a Nathan Eovaldi pickup of the late-2018 season, but neither is Cashner (I hope) a return of Paul Byrd – a dependable hurler whose shelf life had long expired when he joined Boston not once but twice! (2008-09). So much for Einstein’s definition of insanity.
As the opening stated, this was absolutely the right move. Will it reverberate as the season fades into potentially nightmarish oblivion? Eovaldi is supposed to be the answer to the question of “We ain’t got nuthin’ in the ‘pen” Will Casher manage to give a few NQSS starts that would certainly be rescued by a capable Boston offense?
The Red Sox are most certainly capable of catapulting over the suddenly inept Rays, but that means playing stop the music with Cleveland and Oakland who may have a lock on their chairs. For the famed “Big Picture,” Cashner may just be representative of the season in total. Starting with Dustin Pedroia’s demise and finishing with Cashner’s demise.