Let’s start by putting their minor league track records side by side:
Cashner, AA+AAA: 134 IP, 97 H, 50 R, 1 HR, 45 BB, 130 K
Bauer, AA+AAA: 110 IP, 95 H, 40 R, 5 HR, 56 BB, 142 K
Cashner has faced 540 batters between those two levels while Bauer has faced 475, but overall, we see that they haven’t performed all that differently. Bauer’s advantage in strikeout rate (30% vs 24%) is pretty much canceled out by his extra walks (12% vs 8%), and then the difference in home runs allowed makes it advantage Cashner. In terms of FIP, Cashner comes out ahead 2.46 versus 3.08, so while his overall minor league performance has included fewer strikeouts, it included a better combination of all things that go into pitching well. If you want to include BABIP in the conversation, the gap actually own grows wider, as Cashner’s at .272 and Bauer’s at .329. I don’t think you should really care about a minor league pitcher’s BABIP over a sample of ~100 innings, but just figured it was worth pointing out that this isn’t a case where there’s a difference in hit prevention that FIP isn’t capturing.
We have to choose to care about strikeouts above all else to prefer Bauer’s AA+AAA line to Cashner’s, and even then, we probably need to note that the lower strikeout version of Andrew Cashner hasn’t been seen in a few years.
A pretty thorough analysis of two new guys with big time fastballs starting today in the NL West. Should be fun to see how they perform today and throughout the rest of the season considering the potential they both have.