When the Padres traded for Andrew Cashner before the 2012 season, he was a reliever with a nasty knuckle slider and a 100 mph fastball — and injury issues. The Padres believed that he could become the front-line pitcher that he is to day, so they were willing to trade a good young position player for him. The weird thing is that those injuries helped Andrew Cashner find the right pitching mix.
Take the fastball. In 2012, he averaged 97.7 on the pitch, and then, well this happened to the velocity:
You could say he was just adjusting to starting, but there were two starts in there before he strained his shoulder that year. And you could say the new lower velocity was just injury-caused, but then there are the words of the pitcher: “When I tried to throw too hard was when I blew my arm out on a 96 mph pitch,” Cashner said before a game against the Giants in late April. The result? “I don’t try to throw 100 any more.”
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