Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Cashing in on Cashner for R to I-Z-Z-O

By Corey R. Cunningham
New Cubs GM Theo Epstein has landed Anthony Rizzo once again. Rizzo was traded from the Padres to Chicago in exchange for RHP Andrew Cashner. Rizzo will get a small shot at the starting 1B gig this year at Wrigley Field while competing with Bryan LaHair, while Cashner will be pitching in a young and depleted Padres rotation.

Anthony Rizzo was drafted in the 6th round of the 2007 June Amateur Draft by the Boston RedSox. I got to see Rizzo first hand last June while I was in Boston attending the Padres Series. Being a RedSox fan, it was a bitter-sweet moment seeing Rizzo playing at Fenway Park, however, being in an opposition uniform. I once again am rooting for this young and upcoming prospect to do the best, even if it is in a Cubbies uniform (your welcome Ryan). Reports out of Chicago has the 29 year old Bryan LaHair getting the nod at 1B, however, Rizzo should bring some stiff competition. With Rizzo’s smooth swing and from the left handed side of the batter’s box, I would think he could be capable of a lot of 30 plus HR seasons. Rizzo has seen every spot in the batting order at least once last year, except for 2nd in just 128 AB. Rizzo spent a majority of his time batting in the 5th or 7th slot. In 49 games he batted 128 times, for a .141 BA, just 1 HR, and 9 RBI. Before his horrible second half of summer in San Diego, he had an excellent first half in AAA Tucson. Rizzo played in 93 games, where he batted .331, 26 HR, 101 RBI, .652 SLG, and 1.056 OPS. I am pulling for Rizzo to get the starting 1B job, if so I don’t think he will slug 30 HR just yet, but I do predict these numbers: .280 BA, 18 HR, 75 RBI.

Andrew Cashner who was drafted 4 times in 4 years from 2005-2008, final signed with the Chicago Cubs in 08. Cashner was drafted by the Atlanta Braves in 05’ in the 20th round, in 06’ by the Rockies in the 18th round, 07’ by the Cubs in the 29th round, and once again in 08’ by the Cubs in the 1st round. He spent the past 4 years in the minor leagues with the last two years splitting time between the minor and major leagues. His most productive years in the minors were in 09’ and 10’. In 2009 he spent time in High-A Dayton and AA Tennessee, he had a line of 3-4, 2.60 ERA, 1.176 WHIP, 100 IP, 75 K, and 6.7K/9. In 2010, he split time between AA Tennessee, and AAA Iowa with a line of 6-1, 2.05 ERA, 0.947 WHIP, 57 IP, 59 K, and 9.3K/9. Cashner also spent time in the MLB in 10’ and 11’. In 2010 he went 2-6 with a 4.80 ERA, giving up 29 ER in just 54 IP, while in 2011 he pitched just 10 innings, with a 1.69 ERA. Cashner most likely will get the nod on the No. 5 slot, pending the physically conditions of SP Clayton Richard and SP Dustin Mosley who both experience left shoulder problems in 2011. My prediction: 8-11, 3.85 ERA, 140 K

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