Texas Rangers have something awesome going with Andrew Cashner

Rangers starter Andrew Cashner has really settled in as an integral part of this team. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
Rangers starter Andrew Cashner has really settled in as an integral part of this team. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports /

Don’t let the 0-3 record fool you, Texas Rangers right-hander Andrew Cashner has remained one of the staff’s most consistent performers.

Most baseball analysts will tell you that wins and losses for pitchers are overrated and Texas Rangers starter Andrew Cashner might be the best example of that. Although he was one of the team’s biggest question marks to start the year, Cashner has proven that he’s a dependable option.

Don’t focus on the losses

Just like comparing quarterback wins in football, you can get yourself into some ridiculous sports debates when comparing pitchers’ wins. They belong to the team and not just the pitcher. A guy could go out every single outing and allow two runs in nine full innings with 12 strikeouts. But if he has a terrible offense behind him, he could go 0-20 on the season and look like the world’s worst pitcher.

While starters certainly have their hand in the way a game goes or doesn’t go, the wins and losses belong to the team. That’s why that same guy mentioned above could go out every time he starts and surrender four runs in six innings but still go 20-0 if he has a fantastic offense and bullpen behind him. That’s why the 0-3 behind Cashner’s name means little.

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Take his loss against the Twins on April 25. While his pitch count got the best of him and he had to exit in the fifth, he’d only given up two runs in four official innings. He’d thrown 91 pitches heading into the fifth inning and his final pitch of the evening ended up in the right field seats to give Minnesota a 2-0 lead. The lineup and bullpen did him no favors after his departure, turning the game into an 8-1 Twins rout over the Rangers.

His third loss came in Houston despite allowing just three runs (two earned) in six innings. But his offense struck out 12 times and plated just two runs on a meager six hits. Thus, the losses don’t tell Cashner’s entire story.

Don’t focus on the no-decisions

Look at his April 20 start against Kansas City. He pitched well enough to get the win that evening, tossing six shutout innings on 94 pitches. Yet, he finished the night with a no-decision, because the offense couldn’t get a run until inning number 13.

Then there was his last game at Seattle. He left the mound with a 3-0 lead over the Mariners. But Jose Leclerc and Sam Dyson couldn’t quite hold on to the lead and Cashner once again found himself without a win.

Do focus on opposing hitters

Through his first five starts, Cashner has baffled the hitters he’s faced. Opponents are batting just .208 at this point against the Conroe native. While opposing hitters do have a .350 on base percentage against Cashner, they’re slugging a mere .333.

While he’s not getting many strikeouts, they’re failing to make solid contact. That’s why opposing hitters have an average of just .228 against Cashner when they put the ball in play. They don’t hit him well, which of course is the goal of a good pitcher. And that’s why he has an earned run average of just 2.63 with an 0-3 record.

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If the lineup can get hot for Cashner when he’s on the mound, he could quickly become the team’s number two starter. He gets guys out, puts the team in a position to win and does his job. But unless he grabs a bat, he can’t drive in his own run support. That’s the life of an AL pitcher.