If you like what you’re reading then you will like my 2015 Fantasy Baseball Guide! Last year’s fantasy guide was more than 150,000 words and had 440 player profiles (of hitters and pitchers). My approach to player evaluation is to ask questions about what the player has done in the past and what he may do in the future. I certainly provide a narrative on how I feel a player will perform, but I also ask a lot of open ended questions that I hope will get you thinking about the information I’ve provided.
The big question in the fantasy community is will Andrew Cashner ever provide 30-plus starts in a season? Because if he does he could be a top 10-15 starting pitcher. Last year he missed 76 games due to a strained elbow in May and shoulder inflammation in June.
With any Padres pitcher let’s first look at Cashner’s home-road splits (table below).
In regards to his stuff it can be unhittable in bursts or when he wants to be. By that I mean he’ll go months without throwing his slider, his best secondary pitcher (image below from BrooksBaseball.net). In 2013 he almost completely abandoned the pitch for the first half of the season.
To further expand the importance of his slider the table below shows his performance in the first and second half of 2013. You’ll notice his numbers got vastly better the more he started using the slider.
When looking at his 2014 season there some negative trends. The contact rate rose 1.4 percentage points from the previous year while the ground ball rate (from 52.5% to 48.3%) and the swing and miss rate decreased (from 20.0% to 18.4%).
Cashner is a very intriguing and tempting pitcher because he pitches in Petco Park and has, in bursts, has looked like an ace. Injuries have been consistent throughout his career (he’s had significant shoulder injuries in three of the past four years as well as a strained elbow last summer). He will sporadically not throw all of his pitches (which is probably due to him not being 100%). On top of all that he’s missing fewer bats and he’s not generating as much weak contact.
The shallower the league the more likely I’m going to take a chance on Cashner. Also, if you’re confident in finding pitching on the waiver wire (i.e. Jacob deGrom, Jake Arrieta, Marcus Stroman and etc) then Cashner is well worth the risk because if he does go on the DL you will be able to augment your team with a very good replacement level pitcher.
My 2015 projection for Cashner is 150 IP, 3.31 era, 1.13 WHIP, 120 Ks and 9 wins.