"(Saturday) was my second time to go seven (innings)," Cashner said Sunday. "I've had opportunities to go (longer), but we've got a great bullpen here and those guys need work, too."
Cashner was promoted to Iowa earlier this month from Double-A Tennessee, where he was 3-1 with a 2.75 ERA in 36 innings.
Since arriving at Triple-A, the Cubs' first-round pick in the 2008 draft and top pitching prospect has gone 3-0 with a 0.95 ERA, striking out 14 batters, all while holding opponents to a .197 batting average. He has six wins already this season and leads the Cubs' farm system with 56 strikeouts.
A key element to his game has been the decrease in the amount of free passes allowed this season. At Tennessee, Cashner posted a WHIP (walks plus hits per innings pitched) of 0.972, and 0.789 at Iowa, as opposed to 2.35 in 2008.
"I've just been working on fastball command since I've signed and I feel like my fastball command has gotten a lot better," Cashner said.
Cashner spent last October with the Mesa Solar Sox of the Arizona Fall League and has worked on becoming more comfortable with his off-speed pitches, too.
Last season, he introduced a circle changeup to his repertoire, which already features a fastball in the mid-to-upper 90s.
"I feel like I've gotten a good feel for (the changeup) and (Saturday) I threw some good changeups," Cashner said.
Since arriving at Iowa, Cashner said he has had to adjust to throwing off-speed pitches in fastball counts against Triple-A batters.
"Starting guys off with breaking balls, 1-0 breaking balls, 2-0 breaking balls," Cashner said. "I haven't executed that very well yet, but I think that as the season goes on, I'll get better at it."
Command is the Difference for Cashner
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