I’ve written a few things about the Cubs potential starting rotation this off-season and I find myself doing it again.  However, this time I am wanting to focus on two potential starters in Casey Coleman and Andrew Cashner. 

I’ll start with Coleman.  If you don’t already know, the 23 year old right hander is a third generation Major League Baseball pitcher.  His grandfather, Joseph Coleman, pitched from 1942-1955.  His father, Joe Coleman, pitched from 1965-1979.  And now it’s Casey’s turn.  His grandpa won 52 career games, his father won 142 career games and Casey has won 4 games in his brief big league career.  Casey pitched 57 innings last year going 4-2 for the Cubs.  He made 12 appearances with 8 starts.  During Casey’s 8 starts he won 4 and loss 2 with a 3.36 ERA.  Not bad numbers.  His last 4 starts were great including 7 shutout innings against Houston on October 1st, his last start of the year.  

Considering how well Casey pitched in the rotation last year I think he will make a strong case for the 4th or 5th spot in the rotation this spring.  I am guessing the Cubs will send him to Iowa if he doesn’t make the rotation over Wells, Silva or any other pitcher competing for a spot in the rotation.  If he does get sent to Iowa, I anticipate he will be the first pitcher called up to be a starter. 

Next I want to say a few things about Andrew Cashner.  Andrew is a tall 24 year old right hander with great stuff.  He pitched 54.1 innings out of the bullpen for the Cubs in 2010 compiling a record of 2-6 and a 4.80 ERA.  He did manage to strikeout 50 batters which is a very good sign too.  Cashner was primarily used as a starter in the minor leagues, but was brought out of the Cubs bullpen last year after being called up.  His numbers in the minors were excellent, but I have read he needs to work on his changeup if he wants to be a starter in the big leagues.  I think the Cubs will be faced with a big decision this spring with Cashner.  Do we try to make him a starter or reliever?  If the Cubs want him to be a starter, I believe he will start the year in Iowa to work on his pitches….mainly his changeup.  However, I can see him making the big league team as an arm out of the pen.  I do not want the Cubs to handle Cashner the same way we did Jeff Samardzija.  Let’s define what role Andrew is going to play (starter or reliever) and stick to it.  I believe he will make the Cubs out of spring training as a reliever, but could see him eventually become a starter at some point in his career….not this year though.

Cashner and Coleman give me confidence in our younger pitchers.  I think both of these guys have the chance to make an significant impact for the Cubs in 2011 and beyond.   Keep an eye on both of these guys Cub fans.  I know I will.


  1. The Cub Den

    Hey Ron,

    I think the Cubs should really start grooming the young guys to take over. Deciding on the role is important because what’s going to happen I think is that if the Aces get injured and there’s nobody to step in, the Cubs are going to be in trouble. Yeah, they have to play their money players but Cashman and Coleman are the future and giving them some playing time would be great. I know I’m out there in saying that perhaps giving a starter a day off and trying the young guys, it would throw them into the frying pan. A healthy scratch.

    –Mark Gauthier

  2. blithescribe

    It sounds like the Cubs have a lot of great up young talent in the wings. I didn’t know that Coleman was third a generation MLB pitcher. That’s a really cool bit of trivia! I hear you on defining Cashner’s role. Switching roles back and forth between starter and reliever messes far more guys up than it works with and yet teams keep trying it.
    This is a very simple game…

  3. ronlang44

    @Russel-I like Coleman because he’s young too.
    @Mark-I think we’ve got several young pitchers that can make an impact in the near future.
    @Kristen-From my understanding, Coleman is the only 3rd generation pitcher. Other families have had 3rd generation players, but not all of them were pitchers. Pretty cool trivia like you said.