Andrew Cashner's Major League debut consisted of a single 96 mph fastball, off the plate, that yielded an infield fly. Cashner had thrown 57 innings in the Minor Leagues already, so he'll need something like 90 innings of work to continue stretching him out to start.
Andrew Cashner: Innings per calendar year
Only one Cub has reached 33 or more winter ball innings in last three years (Vince Perkins 49.1 in 2008). If Cashner projects as a starter for 2011, it will either be a short run, a full but taxing run (think Verducci Effect) or preceded by a lot of work somewhere in the Caribbean this winter. And that assumes he carries a fairly heavy load the rest of the 2010 season.
I've said Cashner is just above average as a ground ball pitcher. Well, maybe he's more than that. Going back to his time in the Northwest League and Florida State League in 2008, Cashner's K:BB, ground ball and pop-up rates have all been improving.
Andrew Cashner: league relative stats
Average, for the league, is set to 100. BF=batters faced and is an actual tally. Each point above or below 100 is a 1% difference from the league average for that stat.
Year LG BF K:BB GB PU
2008 NWL 85 69 97 86
2008 FSL 39 90 111 0
2009 SOU 277 87 107 97
2009 AFL 85 116 98 104
2010 SOU 137 119 116 143
2010 PCL 71 129 127 154
It seems he turned a bit of a corner in the Arizona Fall League after his full season in the Southern League in 2009. That corner was in the form of a vastly improved K:BB rate. As 2010 has come into focus, he's continued his high-K, low-BB ways -- but now with more grounders. And infield flies, like the one he got today.