Cashner sharp in last tuneup; Padres tie Cubs 5-5
PEORIA, Ariz. (AP) Andrew Cashner allowed one unearned run in three innings for San Diego in his final start before opening night as the Padres and a Cubs split squad played to a 5-5 tie Tuesday night.
Cashner allowed two hits and struck out one in his 44-pitch tuneup. The right-hander issued no walks, allowing only one in 15 2/3 innings while posting a 2.30 spring ERA.
Cashner, who has been working his sinker this spring, called it ”huge” to get seven ground outs and just one flyout.
”I went sinker-heavy this spring more than I have in the past,” he said. ”I think I’m still learning that pitch and getting better at that pitch.”
Cory Spangenberg’s error led to Ryan Kalish’s RBI single in the third off Cashner, who starts Sunday against the Dodgers.
Xavier Nady singled and had an RBI double off Cubs prospect C.J. Edwards, who couldn’t get out of the third in his Cactus League debut. The 22-year-old gave up three runs, four hits and three walks, getting eight outs.
The Cubs tied it when Clint Moore dropped a popup with two outs in the top of the ninth, scoring two runs.
The game was stopped after nine innings, leaving San Diego with six ties this spring.
Cubs: Edwards, acquired from Texas in the Matt Garza trade last year, had a 1.86 ERA and 155 strikeouts in 116 innings in Class A in 2013.
Known as the ”String Bean Slinger,” the 6-foot-2, 165-pound Edwards said he ”can’t even explain the nerves” as he played in front of several Cubs executives
”I came back (to the dugout) and my knee started going by itself,” Edwards said. ”I tried to look around and hold it down. But it didn’t work, so I just sat there and let it bounce.”
Edwards threw 49 pitches, 26 for strikes, and struck out one. He’s expected to start the season at Double-A.
”The outcome wasn’t good,” Edwards said, ”but overall, just being around those guys, it was fantastic.”
Padres: The Cubs traded Cashner to the Padres before the 2012 season for first baseman Anthony Rizzo, with two minor leaguers thrown in. Rizzo grounded to first and lined to left against Cashner.
It was a night for highly-touted Cubs youngsters, with Edwards, shortstop Javier Baez and third baseman Kris Bryant all starting.
The 21-year-old Baez, who will start the season at Triple-A, ranged far to his right to stab a grounder and made a strong throw while falling away to start a double play in the first. He went 1 for 5.
The 22-year-old Bryant, the No. 2 overall pick in 2013 who hit an NCAA-best 31 homers for San Diego last year, went 0 for 4 with three strikeouts.
The Padres are considering carrying three catchers.
Yasmani Grandal, who has made a rapid recovery from right knee ACL surgery in July, caught all nine innings in a minor league game Tuesday for the first time.
But manager Bud Black said Grandal is not ready to catch consecutive games. That means Rene Rivera could join Nick Hundley and Grandal on the 25-man roster.
”On those days (Grandal) wouldn’t play, you’ve got a pretty good switch-hitter on the bench.” Black said.
Padres: Black said right fielder Chris Denorfia (shoulder) ”feels good about where he is” and likely won’t start the season on the disabled list.
Third baseman Chase Headley (calf) got extra at-bats in a minor league game and should be ready for Sunday.
Right-hander Joe Wieland will have minor elbow surgery Wednesday. He’s then expected to start his season in the minors.
The Padres signed outfielder Jeff Francoeur to a minor-league deal. The veteran was cut Saturday by Cleveland.
Left-hander Patrick Schuster, selected by San Diego in the Rule 5 draft, was claimed off waivers by Kansas City.
In a separate deal with the Royals, the Padres acquired minor-league catcher Adam Moore for a player to be named. With prospect Austin Hedges headed to Double-A, the Padres needed a catcher for Triple-A El Paso.