When the Arizona Diamondbacks designated Trevor Cahill for a minor league assignment in June, he left with a 5.66 earned run average and a 1-6 record.
Since his return to the rotation in mid-July, Cahill has looked slightly improved, overall — pitching to a 2-4 record while compiling a 4.56 ERA.
There have been times over the last two months in which the right-hander has looked much improved, however.
Perhaps coincidentally, much of his improved stretch came with D-backs backup catcher Tuffy Gosewisch behind the plate.
Cahill has made three of his nine starts since returning with Gosewisch calling pitches, and all three came in concession — on Aug. 3, 9 and 15, when he faced the Pittsburgh Pirates, Colorado Rockies and Miami Marlins, respectively.
In those three starts, the 26-year-old combined to pitch 20.2 innings, going 2-0 with a 2.18 ERA, walking six and striking out 17.
In Cahill’s six other starts since rejoining the D-backs, however, he has lasted just 28.2 innings combined, going 1-4 with a 6.28 ERA, walking 15 while striking out 22. All of those games came with Miguel Montero behind the plate.
On Monday, Cahill allowed three earned runs in 4.0 innings pitched, abysmally walking six San Diego Padres hitters and giving up five hits.
While a guest of Burns and Gambo Tuesday on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM, D-backs manager Kirk Gibson addressed Cahill’s catcher situation and struggles.
“I don’t think so,” Gibson said when asked if Cahill preferred one catcher over the other. “I haven’t looked at the numbers.”
While Gosewisch caught Cahill’s starts against the Pirates, Rockies and Marlins in August, Montero has caught the starts which came against the Padres, Chicago Cubs, Detroit Tigers, Cincinnati Reds, Washington Nationals and Los Angeles Dodgers. Both the Montero-caught July 29 start against the Reds and the Aug. 20 one against the Nationals went down as a quality start.
“Overall, the games that (Cahill) has started since he came back from the minor leagues — I think that (Montero) has done an equally good job,” Gibson explained.
“I know one thing — if you’re a catcher back there, you’d better be ready to block some balls.”
Including the two games caught by Montero, Cahill had a five-game stretch from July 29-Aug. 20 in which he went 3-2 with a 2.73 ERA, five quality starts, 25 strikeouts and 10 walks.