With everyone from the manager to the pitching coach to the player himself saying they were merely "erring on the side of caution," the San Diego Padres placed No. 1 starting pitcher Andrew Cashner on the disabled list Saturday with a sore elbow.
Cashner's DL stint is retroactive to May 15 -- so he could be eligible to pitch again by the end of May. Cashner said the soreness is in the forearm part of his elbow, and is not near the ligament that would cause extreme concern. "I'm not worried about my ligament at all," Cashner told reporters Saturday. "I'm cutting my fastball loose with no pain, nothing like that."
Cashner said he has been feeling stiffness and soreness since a start May 7 against Kansas City. Last Tuesday, after pitching well at Cincinnati, Cashner said the postgame soreness returned. In a bullpen session Thursday he reported more soreness. He approached manager Bud Black about a protective stint on the DL.
"He feels, with a little bit of rest, he's going to be fine," Black said. "I'm very proud of the fact that Cash came forward instead of pushing through discomfort."
Cashner's scheduled start Sunday against the Rockies will be filled by long reliever Donn Roach.
Cashner, 27, is in his second full season as a starter and the Padres have tried to be prudent with him. The hard-throwing right-hander blossomed into one of the National League's top pitchers last season (10-9, 3.09 ERA) but he was still shut down in early September when he reached 175 innings.
This season, pitching in bad luck (the Padres scored no runs at all in three of his recent starts), Cashner is 2-5 despite a 2.35 ERA. In his last start, a no-decision at Cincinnati, Cashner held the Reds to one run in seven innings and was still lighting up the radar gun at 95 in the seventh inning.
"Hopefully I won't be on the DL longer than 15 days," Cashner said.
Cashner will have an MRI when the team returns to San Diego on Monday.