The Chicago Cubs have decided to play a little roulette with their pitching staff.


Carlos Zambrano goes from the bullpen to the starting rotation.

Tom Gorzelanny and his 3.66 ERA as a starter moves to the bullpen.

John Grabow heads to the DL and the Cubs have called up Andrew Cashner to replace him in the bullpen.

Cashner might be the big story out of all this movement.

Cashner was the Cubs’ first round pick in 2008 and is the second top prospect the Cubs have called up this season. The first being SS Starlin Castro.

Even though Cashner has made the majority of his appearances as a starter in the minor leagues in 2010, he will work as a reliever for the Cubs.

I really like this move by the Cubs.

The Cubs right now don’t have a power righty in their pen to be a bridge to closer Carlos Marmol (Having a phenomenal season by the way) and Cashner could potentially be that guy.

Sean Marshall has pitched really well for the Cubs this year, but is not a blow-you-away type pitcher.

Cashner, with his 95 mph fastball can be that guy who comes in to start the eighth and just throws pellets.

At the beginning of his career, I wouldn’t have suggested this as Cashner walked 23 in his first 20 professional innings.

Now, Cashner has harnessed his control and has only walked 15 in 57.1 IP this year.

Here are some other facts about Andrew Cashner:

Age: 23

Throws: Right

Bats: Right

College: Texas Christian University

Drafted: 19th overall in the first round of the 2008 Draft


Minor League Stats:

2008 Low Single A, Single A, and High Single A: 1-2 with a 5.85 ERA, a 2.35 WHIP, and 19 K’s in 20 IP

2009 High Single A and Double A: 3-4 with a 2.60 ERA, a 1.18 WHIP, and 75 K’s in 100.1 IP

2010: Double A & Triple A: 6-1 with a 2.05 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, and 59 K’s in 57 IP


Keith Law Ranking and Analysis

Ranking: No. 79 out of 100 best prospects in baseball in 2010

Analysis: “Cashner closed at TCU — which has really improved its baseball profile in the past few years (including landing the top unsigned player from the 2009 draft, lefty Matt Purke) — but has worked as a starter in the Cubs’ system. It’s a big arm, with a fastball at 93-98 mph even over multiple innings and a hard slider with very good tilt in the mid-80s, with his slider command ahead of his fastball command when I saw him.

He has a changeup but rarely uses it; it has some tail but mostly just glove-side run. He gets ground balls but it’s not extreme, and I don’t think his home run rate from 2009 indicates some preternatural ability to keep the ball in the park. What’s odd about Cashner is that for a guy with a power arm, he doesn’t miss a lot of bats, and neither his control nor his ground-ball rate is high enough for him to be a good starter with a low strikeout rate.

If he has to return to the pen, he’ll be dominant there, but the Cubs will probably let him continue to start and see if he can improve his command and find a way to miss more bats.”

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