Yes, I know the games don’t count. And yes, we shouldn’t be too alarmed if a pitcher can’t find the strike zone or too excited if a pitcher has an ERA of 0.36. But it is March 20th and before you know it, the Arizona Diamondbacks will be opening the season at home against the San Francisco Giants on April 6th.
Which means Trevor Cahill needs to get his act together if Arizona wants to be a contender and if the team wants to justify the trading of top prospect Jarrod Parker to get him.
In his three prior Spring Trainings with the Oakland A’s, Cahill’s ERA was 5.28 and opposing hitters batted .270 against him. When the bell has rung for the regular season, Cahill’s numbers are solid, posting 40 wins in three seasons to go along with a 3.91 ERA. Obviously, his Spring numbers were deceptive compared to his regular season performance. But this is different now. He is trying to impress a new team and its fans, one that is expected to be a serious World Series contender. He was acquired at the expense of Parker, the D-Back’s first round draft pick in 2007 and the #26 prospect in baseball according to MLB.com. His Spring ERA of 7.88 is much too high, even for Cactus League standards. He has at least one, probably two more starts to settle into his new club.
While it is not panic time yet, you hope that the reason for an ERA near 8.00 is not because of an injury that has not been revealed. Even if Cahill struggles in the early going of the season, you can bet he will keep his turn in the rotation. Let’s hope that his early Diamondback struggles are part of his yearly routine and not the harbinger of an injury-riddled or ineffective 2012.
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