A major component of the Padres' bullpen for the first two months of the season, the flame-throwing Cashner was sent down to Double-A to extend himself into a starter after a spot-start for the Padres against Milwaukee June 9th. He gave up one run on two hits in 2 1/3 innings in that outing.
Cashner's conversion was necessitated by the flurry of injuries to the Padres' rotation this year, and while Manager Bud Black was quick to say that Cashner's timetable for return to the big leagues would not be affected by Anthony Bass's recent move to the disabled list, San Diego was already in need of a starter for Thursday's game in Houston -- less than an hour from Cashner's hometown of Conroe and a little over a three-hour drive north from the Double-A Missions' ballpark.
"We're still keeping an eye on Cash, deciding whether we're going to give him another Minor League start or bring him back," Black said. "We're going through that evaluation now. We like the way he's thrown, he feels good, in the next day or two we might have a more definitive answer."
Cashner was a closer for Texas Christian University, but did start a game for the Cubs early last season. Cashner had a 3.81 ERA in 27 appearances out of the bullpen for the Padres prior to that start and this stint with the Missions.
"He's followed the path that we've set out ... the report from our Double-A staff was good, they've seen the progress in stamina and endurance," Black said. "The side work in between is everything you look for from a starting pitcher, so all signs point to him progressing like we had hoped."