Andrew Cashner made his maiden Grapefruit League start of 2019 for the Baltimore Orioles this afternoon at Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota. Cashner deposited a few really strong breaking pitches into the strike zone for strikes. However his fastballs also caught a bit too much of the plate. Cashner’s line: 3.0 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 0 BB, 3 K.
I wrote several times this past off-season that Cashner should be better this year as opposed to out of the gate last season. He’s getting the benefit of a full slate of spring workouts and games. Point being that Cashner will be able to get his wiggles out in the spring this year, as opposed to in the regular season. Cashner on his outing (quote courtesy of Roch Kubatko, MASNsports):
I thought, you definitely get excited back out, first time out. I thought I spun the ball really well. Something I’ve been working on, more slider strikes instead of balls. Changeup had good depth. I’ve just got to get my four-seam, get more extension.
And that quote illustrates another reason you can’t put too much stock in these spring results. Cashner’s words indicate that he was really working on his sliders this afternoon. (And as I said above, I noticed that his breaking pitches were falling in for strikes.) The pitches that were thrown to certain hitters in certain counts were probably not what we would have seen in a regular season game. Cashner’s a veteran, and in general vets will progress or regress to their career means.
Cashner started out with a hit batsman and a base hit, prompting Goodrum to smack a three-run homer in the first inning. Cashner appeared to settle down, however he did allow one last run before leaving. Dustin Peterson’s RBI-double tan the score to 4-0. However the Birds weren’t about to be shut out early in their home spring yard. Austin Hays‘ solo homer in the last of the third cut the Detroit lead to 4-1.
In fact, the Orioles weren’t about to go down in their home spring yard without a fight. Anthony Santander smacked a three-run homer in the last of the fourth to tie the game at four. However Goodrum haunted the Orioles again an inning later with an RBI-single that gave Detroit the lead back at 5-4. However the Birds came back again, tying the game at five on Joey Rickard‘s seventh inning RBI-single.
At the end of the day however, it was the Orioles who ended up in the sun. They loaded the bases in the last of the eight, and took a 6-5 lead on Drew Jackson‘s sac fly-RBI. TJ Nichting followed suit with an RBI-single, running the final to 7-5. That said, the inning was set up by DJ Stewart‘s very professional at-bar, walking to lead off the inning. And the Birds were able to take advantage of a struggling Detroit reliever, and like a couple of runs on late to win the game. All good signs, even though the ends of these games are featuring mainly minor leaguers (with the exception perhaps of Stewart).
The Orioles head down to Ft. Myers yet again tomorrow to take on Minnesota at CenturyLink Sports Complex. Dylan Bundy gets the start for the O’s, and as this is being written Minnesota is yet to announce a starter. Game time is set for just after 1 PM.