The Dallas Morning News
Cashner ready to start; Rangers not so sure,
Rangers seem to prefer he make one more rehab start first
ANAHEIM, Calif. — The Rangers seem to be split right down the middle on Andrew Cashner making the start Saturday when the team needs a fifth starter for the first time.
Cashner believes he’s ready; pitching coach Doug Brocail— not so much.
Cashner threw 76 pitches in a five-inning outing against San Diego Padres minor leaguers in Peoria, Ariz. on Monday. He will throw another bullpen Wednesday before the Rangers make any decisions. Brocail is not shy about erring on the side of caution and having Cashner stretch out just a little more.
“I think it would be wise [to wait],” Brocail said. “If he comes back one start too early, then you have to go backwards.”
Manager Jeff Banister said he will wait until after Cashner’s bullpen to make any decisions. Nick Martinez, Dillon Gee and Eddie Gamboa, all at Triple-A Round Rock, would be the options if the Rangers choose to have Cashner make another rehab start.
Even if the Rangers are convinced Cashner is fully healthy, there is the question of how deep he could go into a game. With his workload to date, 90 pitches might be the outer edges of his pitch limit. Cashner averaged 18 pitches per inning last year with San Diego and Miami. That math equals about five innings of work, which would put a heavy burden on the bullpen.
With the exception of A.J. Griffin’s 31⁄3-inning outing against Oakland, Rangers starters have all gone between 91-98 pitches to this point.
“You’d like to be able to push guys to about 100 pitches; that’s optimum,” Banister said. “But I think we go more on the health of the pitcher than anything.”
Gone dancing: If Jonathan Lucroy shows off some new moves behind the plate, you can credit his off-day work. He visited the taping of Dancing with the Stars in Hollywood.
Lucroy and his wife Sarah flew out ahead of the team to attend the show to support former major league catcher David Ross. Lucroy and Ross were represented by the same agency.
“Actually, my wife wanted to go, so I said ‘let’s go’ ,” Lucroy said. “It was definitely something I’ve never seen a lot of. My wife enjoyed it. It’s geared more towards the creative aspects of life, and that’s not my strong suit.”
However, he did get to meet Mr. T.
Homer happy: A.J. Griffin will make his second start of the season Wednesday and won’t be surprised if he allows more home runs. He allows a lot of them. What he can do: limit the free passes ahead of them.
In his first start, Griffin allowed a pair of home runs in 31⁄3 innings. What hurt him was that the first of the two was a three-run homer with two outs. The two runners who reached: No. 8 hitter Yonder Alonso via a walk and No. 9 hitter Marcus Semien on a hit batter. For his career, Griffin has allowed 1.69 homers per nine innings, the second-highest rate all time among pitchers with at least 400 career innings.
“I’m not mad about the home runs, I’m mad about the walk and the hit batter,” Griffin said. “I’m going to give up home runs. As long as I minimize them to solo home runs, I will be OK. I have to stay aggressive.”
Briefly: RHP Connor Sadzeck bounced back well from his wild first start at Double-A Frisco in which he failed to retire a batter. Sadzeck allowed one hit in five scoreless innings Monday against Tulsa. He did not walk anybody and struck out nine. … RHP Tyson Ross will make a four-inning, 60pitch start in extended spring training Wednesday, perhaps the last step before he begins pitching in minor league games on his rehab assignment.