With the exception of how the Cubs have played defensively, the biggest concern that most fans have after three full weeks of Spring Training games is starting pitcher Carlos Silva. Despite Silva continuing to talk himself into the rotation, the facts are simple; Silva has looked awful this Spring. Silva is scheduled start on Wednesday, and he will enter the game with a Spring ERA of 15.88. However, Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun Times reported today that there is chance that Silva will not make his next scheduled start.
In the report, Wittenmyer noted that Cubs’ general manager Jim Hendry will meet with manager Mike Quade at some point before Wednesday to discuss the 25 man roster. At this point, the 25 man roster is pretty much set. Both Darwin Barney and Reed Johnson have emerged as the favorites in their respective position battles, and Randy Wells has solidified his spot as the fourth starter in the rotation. Thus, leaving the fifth spot in the rotation as the only question mark. Silva’s $11.5MM salary figured to be enough to give him a spot in the rotation, however, Mike Quade has silently eliminated Silva from the competition. After giving up 8 runs in 2 innings yesterday, Braden Looper figures to lose out to Andrew Cashner for the fifth starter competition.
With Silva no longer being considered for a rotation, his spot on the team is n serious question. Up to this point, both Silva and Quade have resisted the notion that Silva could serve as the long man/spot starter in the bullpen. If Silva is not going to go to the bullpen, then the only other scenario that exists for the Cubs would be to simply release or trade Silva.
While Silva has garnered interest from the New York Yankees this spring, I’m sure he has not given the Yankees’ general manager Brian Cashman enough reasons to pull the trigger on a trade. Jim Hendry proved that nothing is impossible when he traded Milton Bradley for Silva last off-season. Although, that is also what created this mess in the first place. So once again, thank Milton Bradley for creating another issue for the Cubs. But in all seriousness, it is hard to envision Silva being traded considering how ineffective he has been so far in Spring Training.
One option that I’m sure has already been discussed in the Cubs’ front office is that the Cubs could just simply release Silva. It would not be a significant financial hit as the Cubs only owe $8.5 million to Silva, with the Seattle Mariners being on the books for the remaining portions of Silva’s contract. At this point, this could be the only option the Cubs have. Much like he did with the Mariners, Silva has irked many of his Cubs’ teammates which could prove detrimental to the Cubs youth movement.
General manager Jim Hendry will be on 670 The Score this morning during the 11 o’ clock hour talking to Barry Rozner and Matt Spiegel on “Hit and Run.” I’m sure Hendry will spend some time talking about the future of Carlos Silva with the Cubs.