Padres Editorial: Cashner and Ross Both Struggling

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Mandatory Credit: UT San Diego
Mandatory Credit: UT San Diego

When the San Diego Padres upgraded their team with the likes of Matt Kemp, Justin Upton and Wil Myers, the team was expected to win right away. Adding those prolific power hitters to a great pitching staff seemed like icing on the cake to a Padres potential play-off run.

Adding James Shields and Craig Kimbrel at the end of the off-season seemed like over kill and the pitching staff was being compared to some of the best staffs in the league. Tyson Ross and Andrew Cashner had really taken off in 2014 and each seemed to be destined to finally finding that consistency.

Nothing could be further from the truth this year as each has struggled. Cashner early in the season, was getting zero run support while pitching well. Recently Cashner has been hit hard. He seems to be getting wild in throwing pitches right down the middle to batters. Opposing teams have teed off against Cashner and his demeanor has been subdued this season while on the mound. I know his mother is in difficult health right now, so you feel for the Padres pitcher. A turnaround is very likely as Cashner has the ability to be absolute dominant on the mound. Padres fans ca only hope that is the case.

Tyson Ross was an All-Star for the San Diego Padres last season. He found a sense of balance with his delivery and was finally able to harness his motion and be more consistent. The results were more strikes thrown with his fastball. Being able to locate that fastball made his devastating slider even more unhittable. Ross totaled 72 walks last season in 195 innings pitched. This season so far Ross has already totaled 42 walks in 80 innings pitched. His WHIP is up to 1.587 and that is clearly a problem. Tyson Ross has allowed at least two runs in all 14 of his starts this season.

Ross with all the wildness and Cashner with the propensity to get hit lately are putting unnecessary strain on the bullpen. Both pitchers were counted on to be the #2 and #3 starter. With that responsibility comes pitching deep into games. They have managed to make it five or six innings, but where are the complete games or eight inning performances? Ross has only gone seven inning twice this year while Cashner has gone seven innings four times this year. The team needs more accountability and ultimately better performances on the field from these two right-handed pitchers.

Mandatory Credit: UT San Diego
Mandatory Credit: UT San Diego

Could the two pitchers be potential trade bait come July? That is an obvious… Yes. Both players are 28 years old and could potentially bring a hefty package of players in return. The Padres team needs a few pieces here and there and dealing one or both these pitchers could be in the future. Casher in particular has not shown an interest in re-signing long-term with the Padres. He is not due for free agency until after next season, so it’s not entirely evident the Padres would deal him.

Tyson Ross is signed until after the 2017 season, so his value would probably be higher than that of Cashner. Ross has been the more durable of the two pitchers in their respective careers. Ross does have a propensity to pound the strike zone with sliders so one has to wonder if eventually that will all catch up to him. Throwing sliders can be hard on a shoulder and elbow. Hopefully Ross does not have arm issues, but I am sue that is probably in the back of the mind of Padres management.

So would the Padres consider dealing one or both of the pitchers? That really depends on what they are offered. The team is likely looking for prospects and either pitcher would fetch a high return in trade. We are not at that point in the season, so to speculate would be just that…speculation.

The team must perform on the field in order to stay together as a whole. If they fail to be consistent and stay within the playoff race there will surely be some moves made to the team. The Padres needs Andrew Cashner and Tyson Ross to step  it up. A successful season starts with starting pitching, and each needs to provide better appearances each and every start.

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