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Andrew Cashner is like two different Steve Austins

Denis Poroy

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Back in the spring of 2013, when Andrew Cashner hit the disabled list thanks to severing a thumb tendon in a hunting accident, I invoked my inner Crash Davis and accused him of having "a million dollar arm and a ten cent head". I'm a fairly prideful guy, but I have to admit that I was wrong in regard to the latter. The former still rings true, though, so I'm batting .500.

Since then, Cashner has put to rest any questions I had about his intelligence through his actions on and off the field. Most notably, he worked, seemingly flawlessly, with manager Bud Black and pitching coach Darren Balsley to covert himself from an all-out, all-the-time "K 'em all, let God sort 'em out" human torch of a reliever to, you know, an actual pitcher. Since joining the rotation upon his return from the thumb incident Cashner has pitched more to contact and been rewarded for it. His strikeout rate has fallen to a more human level, but his walks have dropped even more so, and his ERA, FIP, and WHIP have shrunk each season.

Cashner's 2014 season was disrupted by injury, but when he was on the field he made the most of not only his right arm, but all his other million dollar appendages as well. In addition to his 19 starts, Cashner also got onto the field as a pinch-hitter once and a pinch-runner twice, and even made an appearance in left field. While he didn't match his remarkable 2013 offensive stats (.241, HR, 2 SB), he did manage a good-for-a-pitcher .176 and legged out the first triple by a pitcher in over a year.

Taking into account his full body of tools Cashner is less of just a million dollar arm, and closer to a six million dollar man. Which is interesting, because a charismatic Texan who loves hunting sounds like a completely different Steve Austin.