Texas Rangers newcomer Andrew Cashner has been diagnosed with biceps tendinitis. The injury does not appear serious, but the Rangers will approach it with caution.
It doesn’t take long for injuries to disrupt the momentum of a season. We’re not even two weeks through spring training and regular seasons are already being ruined. The St. Louis Cardinals suffered a major setback with the loss of their young star, Alex Reyes. Then, all of a sudden, a report surfaced that Red Sox ace David Price could be yet another victim to Tommy John surgery. To a lesser extent, the Texas Rangers temporarily shut down newcomer Andrew Cashner beginning today. Cashner has been diagnosed with biceps tendinitis.
Cashner’s diagnosis is not considered serious, however, the Rangers will take advantage of the flexibility spring training offers by resting their 30-year-old starter. Cashner will meet with the Rangers’ team doctor on Friday. The injury delays his planned progression, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry this of time of year. Texas Rangers’ Assistant General Manager Mike Daly provided his input on the situation, per Star-Telegram’s Stefan Stevenson:
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“We’ll let it calm down. We just felt it was best we have Dr. Meister look at Cash before we put together a plan moving forward. I think there’s a little concern, but with it being so early in camp there’s no need to push it.”
The Texas Rangers signed Andrew Cashner to a 1-year, $10 million contract this past offseason. He is projected to be the team’s number four starter once the opening day roster breaks. Texas already lacks depth in their rotation. Regardless of timing, they really can’t afford a long-term injury to a starting pitcher. Tyson Ross is improving through rehab; however, he is not expected to be ready for opening day. A Tyson Ross return does not guarantee instant domination. He’ll likely need some time to regain his feel and increase his workload.
Aside from an eventual Ross comeback, the Rangers staff is thin. A.J. Griffin is currently slotted as the fifth starter. He did a nice job contributing innings last season, but Texas is better off with him taking a long relief role. There are few good options beyond Griffin. Former Met, Dillon Gee has an outside chance at a rotation spot, though there is no one worth noting after him.
The Texas Rangers have seemingly been crippled season after season due to starting pitching injuries. Yu Darvish missed the entire 2015 season and half of the 2016 season. It’s safe to say he’s an important part to the Rangers’ squad. Countless injuries to Derek Holland and Colby Lewis halted the team time after time. Neither are with the Rangers this season, but the point is Texas doesn’t need a repeat staff to last year’s in terms of injuries.
There is no intention to blow Andrew Cashner’s injury out of proportion. He’ll likely, and hopefully be back to work in no time. But it is important to put a possible negative outcome into perspective. The energy exerted, and random frailty endured by a pitcher’s arm can often turn from a minor to major injury in a hurry.
The Texas Rangers have high expectations for Cashner. They expect him to pitch at a high level and return to his 2013-2014 form in which he had a sub-3.50 ERA and a 1.1 WHIP in each season. Perhaps more importantly, they need his presence in the rotation.