PHOENIX ― Andrew Cashner is the projected opening day starter for the San Diego Padres when they host the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday, March 30.
The former first-round pick of the Chicago Cubs has been spectacular in two appearances in spring training, including a scoreless four innings Monday afternoon against the Colorado Rockies—which came just 36 hours after he left a downtown hospital in the early hours of Sunday morning.
Cashner, who met seventh-year Built Ford Tough Series veteran Reese Cates just three days earlier, was at the event Saturday night when Cates landed awkwardly on his elbow. The 25-year-old from El Dorardo, Ark., dislocated his right shoulder – the second time it’s happened – and in the process broke a few bone fragments as well.
Cates was transported to a local hospital in order to have his shoulder reduced. The process took nearly three hours and physicians neededChase Outlaw to lie across his chest in the emergency room as they maneuvered one last time to get his shoulder in place.
Upon being released, he was surprised to find Cashner in the waiting room three hours later at 1:30 a.m.
“I tell you what,” Cates said, “I sure am a San Diego Padres fan.”
Cashner, a Texas native and longtime fan of the PBR, befriended Cates last week when the 2008 PBR Rookie of the Year threw out the ceremonial first pitch.
Cashner and a few teammates attended the opening round of this past weekend’s event with the idea that they were going to spend time with Cates and Outlaw afterward. No one imagined it would be in the waiting room of a hospital.
While the rookie players needed to return to their housing complex prior to curfew, Cashner waited.
He and a couple of the other players were not the only Padres on hand Saturday night.
Omar Minaya, senior VP of baseball operations for the Padres, was also at US Airways Center and said that he brought “10 new PBR fans” with him that night.
Minaya first discovered the PBR in 2008 when he attended a BFTS event in New York at Madison Square Garden with his children while he was then the general manager of the New York Mets.
In Phoenix, Minaya watched the Bass Pro Chute Out from above the chute area with his players.
“First of all, this is just good family fun,” Minaya said. “As a general manager of a team, at times, you look for toughness and these guys are the ultimate tough guy—a lot of courage.”
Cates plans to watch Cashner in-person this coming season.
He said his pre-op appointment with Dr. Tandy Freeman is scheduled for this coming Monday afternoon and indicated the surgical procedure will take place that Tuesday or Wednesday.
Cates is expected to miss six months before returning to competition in September.
In the meantime, he’ll probably read a book Cashner, who rehabbed from 2011 rotator cuff surgery, recommended called “The Secret,” by Rhonda Byrne. The book’s overview states it is an “incredible revelation that will be life-transforming for all who experience it.”
When pressed for more info, Cashner said he couldn’t reveal the secret and that “it’s different for everyone. You just have to read it.”
Follow Keith Ryan Cartwright on Twitter @PBR_KRC.
© 2014 PBR Inc. All rights reserved.