Chicago Cubs News

Carlos Silva Puts Himself In The Cubs Rotation

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Spring Training did not get off to the best of starts for pitcher Carlos Silva. Before yesterday’s workout, the first of Spring Training, Silva was sent home with a fever. But, Silva returned to camp today, and of course, had something to say about the battle for the two open spots in the Cubs rotation.

"“For them [two spots are] open,” said the highest-paid pitcher in the mix. “And for whoever is competing [two spots are] open. But for me it’s maybe only one is open, because I am one of the starters. So whatever they think, they think. Not me.” Chicago Sun Times"

In a way, I get why Silva is saying that he is already a member of the Cubs starting rotation. It is hard to overlook the fact that Silva had an incredible first half, one that saw him go 9-2 with an ERA of 2.96 in his first 16 starts. However, the second half was a much different story as he only made five more starts. The low amount of starts can be attributed to an elbow injury Silva suffered, as well as a heart scare late in the season. In those 5 starts, Silva had a record of 1-4 with an inflated ERA of 14.21. Silva finished the season with a record of 10-6 with an ERA of 4.22.

"“Should be. Should be,” said Silva, who makes $11.5 million this year in the final year of his contract. “Whatever happened after the first half with my heart and then with my elbow, I don’t think it’s a reason to take me out of the rotation. But they’re the boss. If I have to win my spot again, I’ll do it. I don’t have a problem with that.” Chicago Sun Times"

Granted, Silva is right when he says an injury riddled second half should not force him out of the rotation for 2011. But, the second half of the season was more in line with what many have come to expect from Silva over recent years. If Silva would have stayed healthy and produced during his time with the Mariners, then there is no question that Silva would be shoe-in for the Cubs rotation.

I do wonder, though, what would happen if Silva does not make the starting rotation? From the sounds of it, I do not think Silva would be too happy with a bullpen role. From a financial standpoint, I do not think the Cubs would want to pay $11.5 million for a long reliever. Considering that Silva is in the last year of his contract, the Cubs could wind up releasing him by the time Spring Training concludes. Releasing Silva would not effect the Cubs long term payroll situation. In the end, that may be the likeliest scenario, as Randy Wells and Andrew Cashner figure to be the two likely candidates.

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