Where do you think Andrew Cashner should start the year?
My preferred order is:
1. Major League Starter: He has shown he can pitch well as a starter at the minor league level, has shown that he can pitch out of relief well (see end of 2010) as a major leaguer, I think its time he is given the opportunity to start at the major league level and see if he can handle multiple turns through the lineup. He also gives the Cubs the highest quality innings as 5th starter, even if he will likely be held to a lower inning limit than a veteran pitcher. Does anyone know how many innings a 5th starter typically pitches per year?
2. Major League Long Reliever: This option allows him to pitch less innings than a starter, but more than a closer/setup man, but getting consistent opportunities would be a problem. This depends on if Quade believes in using relievers for more than 2 innings. Again, allowing him to hone his skills against major league hitters is a good opportunity.
3. Minor League Starter: I think he has shown enough to be on the major league roster, but I am not entirely opposed to letting him work on his secondary pitches and location in AAA. I'm meh on this.
4. Late Inning Major League Reliever: I think Cashner can fill a late inning, high leverage role, but I think that the Cubs should give him every opportunity to be a starter and to be consistent in treating him as a starter. Jerking him back and forth between starter and reliever like Joba Chamberlain is a bad idea for his development. I didn't like the experiments with using Jay Jackson and other minor leaguers as relievers for a brief spell, consistency is key to development.