On Thursday, the Baltimore Orioles signed RHP, Andrew Cashner. While this signing doesn’t blow anybody away, he should improve a rotation that regularly struggled in 2017.
Stating that they regularly struggled couldn’t be any more spot-on. The Baltimore Orioles had a rough season last year, finishing last in the American League East, and tied with the Oakland Athletics for the third-worst record in the league.
Defined by a starting rotation that used 11 different pitchers and finished with a 5.70 ERA in 846 innings, last year was the most miserable performance by the starting rotation in franchise history. By contrast, the World Champion Houston Astros used the same amount of pitchers. But, their starting rotation finished with an ERA of 4.03 in 899.2 innings.
If you’re looking at Cashner to be the ace of the rotation, look away.
With the Texas Rangers last season, his 3.40 ERA was his best since 2014. However, the Orioles are getting a solid middle of the rotation pitcher with a 96mph Fastball. Complimenting his heater, Cashner will bring a mix of breaking pitches and a recently developed two-seam Fastball.
Cashner is also a groundball pitcher which bodes well for pitching in a park like Camden Yards.
Cashner versus 2018 opponents
In order of appearance, the Orioles will see the Twins, Astros, Yankees, Blue Jays, Red Sox, Tigers, Indians, Rays, Angels, Athletics, Royals, Phillies, White Sox, Nationals, Mets, Marlins, Braves, Mariners, and Rangers this season.
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Only the Miami Marlins have yet to see Cashner on the mound.
And, over eight seasons, Cashner sports a 21-and-27 overall record versus the teams above. However, a pitcher’s win-loss record shouldn’t be what determines his value to the team. That’s more or less a team stat, although, in hindsight, wins are what every team strives to achieve.
Here’s how Cashner stacks up versus opponents the Orioles will face this season:
Versus AL East
- vs. Yankees: 1-and-1, 1.80 ERA in three starts (20 IP)
- vs. Red Sox: 1-and-1, 3.75 ERA in two starts (12 IP)
- vs. Blue Jays: 1-and-0, 2.77 ERA in two starts (13 IP)
- vs. Rays: 1-and-0, 4.50 ERA in one start (6 IP)
Versus AL Central
- vs. Twins: 0-and-1, 4.50 ERA in one start (4 IP)
- vs. Tigers: 1-and-0, 0.00 ERA in one start (9 IP) **One-Hitter on April 11, 2014**
- vs. White Sox: 0-and-2, 4.61 ERA in four appearances (two starts)(13.2 IP)
- vs. Indians: 0-and-2, 9.90 ERA in two starts (10 IP)
- vs. Royals: 0-and-2, 1.69 ERA in three starts (16 IP)
Versus AL West
- vs. Mariners: 2-and-4, 4.04 ERA in nine appearances (eight starts)(49 IP)
- vs. Rangers: 7.20 ERA in one no decision (5 IP)
- vs. Athletics: 1-and-0, 3.93 ERA in four appearances (three starts)(18.1 IP)
- vs. Astros: 3-and-7, 3.92 ERA in 16 appearances (eight starts)(57.1 IP)
- vs. Angels: 1-and-0, 3.94 ERA in five appearances (two starts)(16 IP)
Versus National League
- vs. Phillies: 4-and-1, 2.55 ERA in 13 appearances (seven starts)(49.1 IP)
- vs. Nationals: 3-and-4, 4.04 ERA in 13 appearances (eight starts)(49 IP)
- vs. Mets: 0-and-3, 6.18 ERA in nine appearances (four starts)(27.2 IP)
- vs. Braves: 2-and-0, 5.46 ERA in six appearances (five starts)(28 IP)
Although coming in small sample size, Cashner has had some decent success against teams in the AL East.
With a decent track record, Cashner should be able to provide relief in the middle of the rotation. If he can maintain – or better – his 2017 form, the Orioles could potentially surpass the projections.