video thumbnail

CHC@TEX: Cashner settles in after rough first inning

After spending last season in the bullpen, Cubs right-hander Andrew Cashner will make his first Major League start Tuesday against the D-backs.

As one can expect, the 24-year-old is eager to get out on the mound.

"It's my first start in the big leagues -- why wouldn't you be excited?" Cashner said before Monday's 4-1 win.

Cashner appeared in 55 games a year ago, posting a 4.80 ERA with 50 strikeouts in 54 1/3 innings. This spring, he beat out Carlos Silva for the final rotation spot and is excited to work as a starter. Cashner said he prefers starting because he can get a better grasp on his pitches.

"The more I throw, I think the better feel I get [for my pitches], and it's just one of those things -- I just need to pitch," Cashner said.

Also making his first start of the season is Arizona righty Barry Enright, who was scheduled to start Monday but was pushed back when snow forced the postponement of Sunday's game in Denver. Enright, who went 6-7 with a 3.91 ERA in his first full season last year, also is excited to finally take the mound.

"Obviously, you want to say you're going to take it like any other start, but there will probably be some extra adrenaline, sure," Enright said."

Another reason Enright is eager is because Monday marked his first-ever trip to Wrigley Field. On Tuesday, he'll get to pitch inside the Friendly Confines.

"I'm looking forward to it," Enright said. "I'll get to experience that also and then go out and give my team a chance to win."

D-backs: GM Towers impressed with first two games
• Two games into the season, D-backs general manager Kevin Towers likes how Arizona has played. "I've seen some emotion," Towers said before Monday's game. "That's what I didn't see the last two weeks of last season. Guys are upset when we lose [a] ballgame, and I didn't see that last year."

• D-backs manager Kirk Gibson knows what Enright is feeling in his first trip to Wrigley Field. "I remember as a player -- you get in awe a little bit of parks like this," Gibson said. "It's a great atmosphere here, what's not to like about it? I think he'll do fine either way." On May 10, 1988, it was Gibson who was playing in his first game at Wrigley. In that game, Gibson hit a game-winning home run in top of the 14th inning off Les Lancaster to give the Dodgers a 6-5 victory.

Cubs: Marmol records save day after blowing one
• Cubs manager Mike Quade wanted to get closer Carlos Marmol back on the mound as soon as possible following the right-hander's blown save Sunday. Quade got his wish, as Marmol earned the save Monday afternoon. Quade also was happy with Marmol telling reporters he wanted to get back in action as soon as possible. "That's exactly what he needs to say and that's exactly how he needs to feel," Quade said before Monday's game. "There's the saying that closers need to have a short memory, and he does. He's another guy who has now learned this position and role of his. Just a few years ago, he was an exciting young guy who all of a sudden developed into this incredible closer. I'm glad he feels that way."

• D-backs bench coach Alan Trammell and Starlin Castro spent a lot of time together last season, when Trammell was the Cubs' infielders coach and worked with Castro on his defense. Prior to Monday's game, Castro stopped to thank Trammell for all the help. "There are still going to be a few blips along the way," Trammell said of Castro's development. "There are still some growing pains. Thinking back to my career, we didn't get it done overnight. I saw him earlier today and had a quick conversation, and he thanked me and that means a lot." Trammell said he'll follow Castro for the rest of his career because, "that's how much he means to me."

Worth noting
Cubs pitchers recorded 32 strikeouts in their season-opening three-game series against Pittsburgh, the most in Chicago's first three games since striking out 32 to begin 2003. ... Enright has faced the Cubs once in his career, allowing three runs on seven this in 5 2/3 innings on July 6, 2010.

MLB.com Comments