Outlook: Cashner has to curb homers, BBs for success

PEORIA, Ariz. -- It wasn't much of a start Friday for Padres pitcher Andrew Cashner, though he had zero qualms with the way his Cactus League debut ended.

Nine pitches into his start against the Mariners, Cashner had already allowed two baserunners on an error and a single, then threw a wild pitch that allowed both runners to move into scoring position.

"I felt a little jumpy out there that first inning and the ball was up a little bit," Cashner said. "I was kind of all over the place."

That changed soon enough, as Cashner worked out of that jam, striking out Ty Kelly and Corey Hart before getting Jesus Montero to ground out to end the inning.

"I got out of that jam and made some good pitches when I needed to," Cashner said.

Cashner's second inning saw him retire all three hitters in order, and he finished with 32 pitches, 18 for strikes.

"I just think it's I haven't faced hitters in a while and your stuff isn't where it usually is," Cashner said. "But I felt like overall I had a really good outing."

His manager, Bud Black, echoed that sentiment.

"If you look for arm action, delivery and his mechanics, they looked in order," Black said. "I thought he had good movement to his two-seamer as well."

Cashner, a leading candidate to start Opening Day, said he threw only fastballs in the 12-1 loss. He'll likely add in secondary pitches his next time out. He'll also work on being sharper with his fastball command.

"I thought for the most part I did what I wanted to do: work the fastball to both sides of the plate," he said. "I really wanted to work on my fastball command."

Short hops

• Third baseman Chase Headley, who is nursing a strained right calf, played catch Friday and has been able to stand in the covered batting cage and track pitches to stay sharp. He hasn't reached the point where he can take batting practice. Headley is hopeful the injury won't keep him from Cactus League games for more than another two weeks.

"He's doing well," Black said.

• It was a smooth Padres debut for new reliever Joaquin Benoit, who worked a scoreless inning Friday, allowing one hit with one strikeout. Benoit, who signed a two-year deal worth $15.5 million before the season, threw 18 pitches, 13 for strikes.

Benoit was clocked as high as 96 mph and showcased his plus-changeup at 86 mph, providing a nice differential in speed from the fastball.