2/28 Cashner – UPDATED

Andrew Cashner pitched two innings in relief on Monday for the Cubs. The team wants to see if he’s could make the transition to the rotation. Expect him to get a start later this spring.

“We’re going to find out,” Quade said Monday. “I was thrilled to death to see him in the bullpen [last year]. From the standpoint of the future of this organization, if he can be a high end starter, if he can be a top line starter, and we don’t find that out, it would probably be a mistake. Maybe he could be a top end closer but we just signed a top end closer [Carlos Marmol] for three years and, knock on wood, that’s going to be a great three years.

“The time seems right,” Quade said. “[Cashner] got his feet wet last year and he had some success on the role we asked. Let’s see if he can expand on that. There’s no guarantees but we think he has the stuff, the makeup and the willingness.”

Cashner did start in the Minor Leagues before his call-up last season. Both he and James Russell have said they want to start, and are working with pitching coach Mark Riggins on developing command of their pitches. The Cubs do have four days of split squad games coming up and Cashner and Russell could get starts then.

On Monday, Cashner gave up two runs on three hits in two innings against the Brewers. Kerry Wood has been impressed.

“He’s a young strong kid and more than anything, he has the desire to learn,” Wood said. “He wants to learn how to pitch and wants to ask questions and he’s asking the right questions. He’s got to be patient with himself. He’s got all this power and he’s such a strong kid that he has to be patient with this stuff. He wants it to happen right away. He’s got the desire to be great.”

— Carrie Muskat

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