The Boston Red Sox have been one of the most disappointing teams in Major League Baseball this season, but newly acquired starting pitcher Andrew Cashner is still optimistic about the club's outlook in the second half of the year.
Cashner, who was acquired via trade from the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday, will make his first start for the Red Sox on Tuesday night against the Toronto Blue Jays. He talked to reporters for the first time since the trade Monday night at Fenway Park, and the veteran right-hander believe in the talent on this team.
"I think this is a dangerous team," Cashner said. "I just don't think they've played to their potential yet. I think the thing I'm looking forward to most is playing the Yankees."
The Red Sox enter Monday 10 games behind the rival New York Yankees for first place in the American League East. The Sox and Cashner will get several attempts to cut into that lead with eight games versus the Bronx Bombers over the next three weeks.
These matchups should play a pivotal role in the postseason race, which Cashner is excited to experience after not playing in any meaningful games during his short career with the Orioles.
"I'm definitely looking forward to the race," Cashner said. "It's something I've never been in, really. I don't think it's going to inspire me as much, it might give me a boost of (velocity), but as far as inspiring me, you have to prove yourself every year in this game. For me, every year I'm trying to prove myself that I still belong here."
Cashner was among the few bright spots for the Orioles this season. He tallied a 9-3 record with a 3.83 ERA, 66 strikeouts and 29 walks over 96 1/3 innings in 17 starts for Baltimore. He should provide much-needed depth at the end of the rotation, and his ability to rack up innings also is important. Boston's bullpen has been used a ton this year and the results have been poor. Cashner has thrown six or more innings in eight of his last 10 starts.
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