Tag: Carlos Silva

The Top 10 Promotions You Probably Won’t See at MLB Parks in 2011

Bobbleheads, t-shirts and refrigerator magnets.

Oh, my!

One of the pleasures a fan of a lousy team has to look forward to every season are the cool promotions that sucker you in to handing over a hundred bucks you may not have otherwise.

I’ve become an expert at this in recent years rooting on the Mariners, unfortunately. I have more dolls than any 31 year old man should, thanks to the annual Ichiro bobbles. Though, they’re sucking me in again this season.

This year’s edition includes a hit counter so we can follow him on his quest to 200 a season and 3000 overall.

I got to thinking, naturally, because that’s what this stuff does to me: what promotions would us fans who like a good old chuckle line up for, even though our favorite team would never do it?

This list is the byproduct of that thinking. I apologize in advance.

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Carlos Silva Must Go: Why the Chicago Cubs Must Get Rid of the Veteran Pitcher

The Chicago Cubs have not been world champions since the glory days of 1908. They have not won a pennant since 1945.

Some individuals are optimistic that 2011 will be the year that the Cubs finally win the pennant. No one dares to predict that they will win the World Series.

The Cubs may challenge for the Central Division crown, but they will have to do it without a fifth starter.

What, you say? Isn’t Carlos Silva the Cubs’ fifth starter?

That is exactly why the Cubs’ pitching may be a problem.

The Seattle Mariners, an organization that, like the Cubs, managed to win a record 116 regular season games and not win the World Series, sent Carlos Silva to Chicago in exchange for Milton Bradley in Dec. 2009. Both teams hoped that a change of scenery would help the players.

In 2010, Silva was 10-6, but as we all know, a pitcher’s won-lost record can be deceiving (see Cy Young Award winner and ERA leader Felix Hernandez). Silva had a 103 ERA+, which is slightly above average, but that’s where it ends.

Silva averaged only 5.4 innings over 21 starts. He worked 113 innings and allowed 120 hits and 24 walks for a 1.274 WHIP.

Today, managers and pitching coaches love pitcher who can “eat up innings.” Forget about effectiveness. He can give us innings. Silva has trouble doing even that.

Overall, 2010 was a season that would rank Silva in the middle of starting pitchers, but it was the best season he has had since 2005 with the Minnesota Twins, when he was 9-8 with a 130 ERA+ and a 1.173 WHIP.

The Cubs are fooling themselves and their fans if they are counting on Silva, even as a fifth starter.

Now 32 years old, Silva is in his eighth full season. He has had ERAs below 4.19 only twice in his career. The first time was during his rookie season with the Philadelphia Phillies in limited duty, and the second time was in 2005 with the Twins.

An examination of Silva’s lifetime record is revealing. He has won 70 games. He has lost 70 games. Fine—that is acceptable for a fifth starter.

But Silva has a 4.68 ERA and a 93 ERA+. He has allowed 1,496 hits in 1,241.2 innings or 10.8 hits per nine innings.

His WHIP of 1.397 is that “low” only because he has great control. The problem is that batters tee off on him because they know he’s always around the strike zone.

A popular sports site ranks Silva 129th among 150 major league starting pitchers. Ranked just above Silva is Arizona’s young Barry Enright, and ranked just below Silva is Jason Marquis.

Carlos Silva does not project to get any better. He is not the answer to the Cubs’ need for a fifth starter, and if it weren’t for the paucity of starting pitching in baseball, it is doubtful that he would still be on a major league roster.


Baseball Reference


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Minnesota Twins: Seven Possible Trade Targets

As the trade deadline approaches, Minnesota Twins fans are hoping the team adds another arm to the rotation to help push the Twins to an AL Central division title and beyond.

It was about this time last year when the Twins added Carl Pavano to the rotation. Pavano has emerged as the ace of the rotation with a 12-6 record and 3.26 ERA.

The Twins, typically bargain shoppers, don’t appear to be in the sweepstakes for Roy Oswalt, Ted Lilly, or Dan Haren, the most mentioned pitchers in current trade rumors.

Looking to the rosters of potential sellers, here’s a list of the top candidates that the Twins should consider.

The criteria used to rank these pitchers included salary, contract situation, and 2010 performance.

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Carlos Silva: Is There Any Chance You Were Expecting This?

This article is available at The Daily Cub and The Chicago Perspective

Check out each site for more articles about the Chicago Cubs and Chicago sports in general.


The Chicago Cubs may have made one of the more lopsided trades in recent memory when they shipped troubled player Milton Bradley for supposedly over-paid under-performing Carlos Silva.

Well, he was under-performing.

Coming into this season, a lot of people were expecting nothing out of Silva.  He was going to be in the bullpen, possibly the fifth starter until Ted Lilly returned to the rotation.

Then, there were reports coming out of Spring Training that he was working on his delivery and he was looking very good . Still, few expected anything special out of him.

Then, the major league season started, and he came out and won his first start. 

He gave up just one run over six innings, then Esmailin Caridad gave up four runs in the eighth inning to lose the game and give Silva a no decision.

Still, it’s just one start.

Next thing you know, he is 4-0 with a 3.40 ERA and some more people are starting to come around to the belief that he is a legitimate pitcher who can help the Cubs this season.

All the while, Milton Bradley is continuing his lifelong implosion in Seattle.

Now, Silva is 8-0 through 11 starts with an ERA of 2.93 and every day, more and more people are jumping on his bandwagon .

Making $12 million puts a lot of pressure on a player as they have a lot of people expecting them to be an ace on the pitching staff, something that he has done so far this season.

He leads Cubs starters in wins, ERA and WHIP and he is doing so after few expected him to even be in the rotation.

If he keeps up this pace, by the end of the season he will have set career highs in wins, (he is on pace to go 22-0) ERA, WHIP, strikeouts, and a few more categories.

He has allowed four or more runs just twice this season and allowed no more than five runs in any one start, and never pitched fewer than five innings.

By every account, Silva is having a year worthy of being an All Star, Comeback Player of the Year, and getting an apology from everybody in Chicago who scolded him and thought he shouldn’t make the major league squad.

Meanwhile, Seattle can brew in anger while they watch Milton Bradley throw another temper tantrum.

Oh yea, he’s got more strikeouts than hits and walks combined.

I’m Joe W.

Joe Willett writes runs two blogs, The Daily Cub and The Chicago Perspective .  Check them both out, they may be the greatest blogs you ever read.

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Cubs GM Jim Hendry Does Not Deserve Kudos For Trading Bradley For Silva

As Chicago Cubs’ starter Carlos Silva morphs into a Cy Young candidate so far early in the 2010 season, Cubs General Manager Jim Hendry is getting more than his share of credit for pulling off that trade.

That credit is completely unwarranted.

You don’t get credit for signing the worst possible fit for your team in 2009 in Milton Bradley and ruining the season, and then receive accolades because the Seattle Mariners dumped their refuse on you and he turns out much better than expected, at least for now.

Actually even if Silva completely bombs the rest of the season, the trade still looks good because you got rid of a cancer and added a starting pitcher that gets you a win just about every time he takes the mound so far this year.

In fact, he’s off to the best start of any Cub starter since Kenny Holtzman in 1967, when he was a part-time starter while serving in the military that year.

Carlos Silva signed a four year, $48 million dollar contract with the Mariners after the 2007 season, while Bradley signed a three year, $30 million dollar contract with the Cubs starting in 2009.

To say both players were a disappointment for their teams would be an understatement of monumental proportions.

Bradley not only bombed on the field, but he literally blew up the chemistry the team had in the two previous seasons.

Instead of adding a potent left-handed bat, which was the goal, the Cubs added a petulant player who cared only about himself, eschewed his teammates, and was a marketing disaster.

Silva was almost as bad with Seattle, just without the personality disorder.

In two seasons, he won only 5 games, finishing 4-15 in 2008 with a 6.46 ERA, and 1-3 in an injury plagued 2009 season with a whopping 8.60 ERA.

Seattle GM Jack Zduriencik decided he needed a bit more pop in his lineup and took a chance that Bradley was the answer, just like Hendry did before him.

How has that worked out?

Bradley is hitting a robust .229 with three homers and 18 ribbies to go along with a .305 OBP and .667 OPS, not exactly numbers that are a sabremetric’s wet dream.

Not only did Zduriencik take Bradley from the Cubs, but he threw in $9 million dollars so Hendry would have a few dollars spending money since new owner Tom Ricketts took away his allowance and didn’t allot him any more money to fill out the team this year.

That’s why Hendry is now revered in town, at least for that move.

You listen to sports radio in Chicago, and you hear what a genius Hendry was to not only get rid of Bradley, but acquiring Silva from Seattle in the process.

But how brilliant was he when he passed on Bobby Abreu, Raul Ibanez, and Adam Dunn, and signed the only guy in the group who never drove in 100 runs in a season?

Not too brilliant!

That doesn’t even take into account the mental aspect of Bradley, and we all know about that, as Seattle has also sadly learned.

Along with his lousy production, he also spent time on the restricted list when he finally admitted there might be something wrong in that head of his.

So should Hendry get kudos for getting lucky?

Not in my book!

Let me know if you’re reading a different book.

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Cubs Win Three Strait and Zambrano Primed For a Return As a Starter

This article was originally published at The Daily Cub.  Visit TheDailyCub.com for game recaps and opinions about the Chicago Cubs

Last night, Carlos Silva got another quality start, pitching six innings and allowing two runs to drop his ERA to 3.35 and improve to 5-0 on the season.

On a night when we learned that Carlos Zambrano will be returning to the starting rotation shortly, a different Carlos was able to steal the show by pitching six scoreless innings before allowing a two-run home run without recording an out in the seventh and being taken out.

After going 2-9 in an 11 game stretch, the Cubs have been able to pull off three strait wins after taking the finale against the division rival Pittsburgh Pirates and sweeping a two game series against the Colorado Rockies.

The Cubs were helped offensively by young shortstop Starlin Castro who put the Cubs up 2-0 on a fielders choice in the fourth to help give the Cubs some early insurance on the Rockies.

Then, in the eighth, he knocked in Tyler Colvin, who scored twice and stole his first career base, on an infield single to put the Cubs up 4-2. Later in the inning, the Castro scored on a Ryan Theriot single along with Geovany Soto to give the Cubs the final score of 6-2.

The bullpen, which has been an issue for the Cubs this season, pitched very well last night, allowing just one hit and one walk over the last three innings.

After Silva was pulled, Esmailin Caridad came in and walked Miguel Olivo. Caridad was immediately replaced by James Russell, who struck out two and finished the inning.

Sean Marshall pitched a scoreless eighth and Carlos Zambrano pitched a perfect ninth while striking out two and finally having a good outing in the bullpen.

Zambrano received more good news when he found out later that night that he would be returning to the rotation after a few long relief appearances.

With diminished velocity and poor performances, the bullpen experiment has been a complete failure. The only problem is, who will Zambrano replace?

The starting rotation has been the only positive for the Cubs and the only reasonable suggestion for the Cubs may be to move to a six man rotation. Although there is no definitive ace on the staff, there is also no weak spot in the rotation either.

Adding Zambrano, will likely give the Cubs one of those two things.

Zambrano’s velocity has been his mark in the past, but over the past two seasons his fastball has dropped from the mid 90’s to the high 80’s, reaching the around 90-91 on occasion. Without his fastball, he has lost his edge and hitters are taking advantage.

This season, Zambrano came in laid an egg in the season opener against the Atlanta Braves, getting pulled after just 1.1 innings and allowing eight runs.

That one start, however, was seemingly his only bad start. Over his next three starts before getting put in the bullpen he pitched 18 innings and allowed eight runs. That isn’t ace material, but it’s an ERA of 4.00 through three starts, which isn’t worthy of being put into the bullpen.

Since going to the bullpen, Zambrano has allowed six runs in 9.2 innings, but five of those runs came in two appearances while he has six scoreless appearances.

Zambrano was moved to the bullpen in hopes that he could find his velocity and give the Cubs a legitimate set-up man for Carlos Marmol. It appears that Marshall will be moving into that spot for the remainder of the season.

Although Zambrano is no ace, he will get a chance to prove that he should be a starter when he gets back into the rotation.

It was a great night for Cubs named Carlos, now it’s time to see if guys named Carlos can make a great season for the Cubs.

I’m Joe W.

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Chicago Cubs’ Potential Trade Chips

On Wednesday, Carrie Muskat wrote an article in which she said that “There are no deals pending, no scouts scouring other rosters to find help.”

It wasn’t a quote from Jim Hendry. It was just a line added into the article between quotes from the Cubs’ general manager.

More specifically, it came immediately before the following quote from Hendry:

“There really isn’t anywhere to look,” Hendry said. “I would think our position players are not a weakness at all. We’re just in one of these funks where we can’t get over the hump and get runs in. It’s not for lack of talent or lack of these guys working.”

Obviously, Hendry is simply saying that there’s no reason to look for offensive help in the trade market. At no point does he say anything about trading for pitching, most notably bullpen help.

Unless Carrie was holding back other comments from Hendry which did state that the team isn’t currently looking for bullpen help, her addition to the article is a bit misleading.

Most people seem to be under the impression that Carlos Zambrano’s move to a setup role is temporary, including “Big Z” himself.

After Friday’s game, I’m sure many people are hoping that his time in the bullpen is drawing near an end, including Zambrano once again.

If they aren’t looking for trade partners, then they aren’t doing their jobs. For the sake of my own sanity, I’m just going to assume that they are.

In that light, they obviously need to have in mind which players they are willing to trade away. I’m not going to claim to know who the Cubs have on their provisional list of potential trade chips, but I do have my own ideas.

Those ideas do not include Aramis Ramirez or Alfonso Soriano.

While others were writing why Soriano should get traded, ESPN’s Jayson Stark was doing a poll of who MLB executives thought had the most untradable contracts. The Cubs’ outfielder was first on the list .

And after Aramis Ramirez’s name started to emerge in hypothetical trades, I jumped in with why such a trade is highly unlikely.

Although he wasn’t listed in Stark’s aforementioned article, Zambrano’s critics should realize that he’s probably in a similar boat to Soriano.

So who does that leave?


The Veterans

Because of their expiring contracts, Derrek Lee and Ted Lilly could eventually be available as late-season rentals for a contending team. That, of course, would require that the Cubs were out of contention early enough for a deal to be made.

It also means neither player would be involved in a trade for immediate bullpen help unless Hendry’s search continues deep into the season. It’s much more likely that a trade of either player would resemble Hendry’s trade of Mark DeRosa before last season that yielded three prospects from the Indians.

Another possible trade chip with an expiring contract is Xavier Nady, who I believe is available as soon as another team mentions his name in negotiations.

With Soriano, Marlon Byrd, and Kosuke Fukudome all producing, the offensively struggling Nady is just taking away playing time from Tyler Colvin and being a defensive liability with his still-recovering throwing arm. He’s still a promising hitter, but he would be much more valuable with an American League team that he could DH for.

Sam Fuld is a very good defensive outfielder and hitting well in limited action at Triple-A Iowa, so he could potentially be the perfect fifth outfielder for the Cubs after moving Nady.

Back in early April, Fukudome’s name was actually being thrown around in trade talks with the Nationals.

I’ll admit that it’s a possibility, but I’d say that it’s 50-50 at best.

With his well-known trend of early-season success and late-season slumping, the numbers that he’s put up so far probably won’t increase his value very much. The Cubs would most likely have to eat part of the remaining salary for this season and part of the 13.5 million he’s due in 2011, but might still be able to get something of value in return from a team that values defense.


The Backup Infielders

Then there’s Mike Fontenot and Jeff Baker. One of them will most likely be in different uniform by season’s end.

Fontenot might fetch more in return since he has been better offensively this season and can play shortstop in a pinch, but Baker might be the one that the Cubs are more willing to part with for the very same reasons.

With Chad Tracy tearing up Triple-A, it wouldn’t surprise me if either of the second basemen were traded by the time I woke up in the morning. If Starlin Castro starts smoothing out his game in the big leagues or Darwin Barney picks up at the plate in Iowa, the clock on that trade will be accelerated.

On the other hand, Chad Tracy might end up on the trading block himself.

His being the odd man out when Castro was called up might be indicative of his status with the team and could offer other teams an alternative to Hank Blalock, who might or might not be moved by the Tampa Bay Rays in the coming days.

Trading Tracy would also slow down any trade talks involving Baker or Fontenot, but by no means indicates that both players are staying.


The Pitchers

Now we’re only left with three players: Tom Gorzelanny, Carlos Silva, and John Grabow.

Honestly, I will be shocked if both Gorzelanny and Silva are with the Cubs on August 1 for the simple fact that Zambrano needs a spot in the rotation to return to. Also, as shown by Zambrano’s move to a setup role, neither pitcher is much of a candidate for a spot in the bullpen.

In fact, going one step further, I’ll be a little surprised if either pitcher is a Cub on August 1.

Both Andrew Cashner and Jay Jackson are doing very well in the minor leagues and should be pushing for some starts with the big league club before too long. Casey Coleman might even get a look if he pitches well for the next few months, although I think it’s much more likely that he will stay in Triple-A for the duration of the season.

Gorzelanny offers the most upside of the two players and, in my mind, is the piece that is most likely to land the Cubs a setup man.

Silva would need to stay healthy and productive, but he could get moved as soon as the Cubs decide to call up Cashner.

Grabow, the Cubs veteran left-hander in the bullpen, is much less likely to go than the other two to be moved during the season. There aren’t too many teams that have three lefties in the ‘pen and the Cubs could use every advantage that they have.

Still, if the Cubs have enough confidence in Sean Marshall and James Russell going forward, Grabow could end up on the trading block. Jim Hendry just has to decide if he’s wants to free up the $3.75 million that the former Pirate is due next season.

No matter who the Cubs feel willing to move that’s currently on the roster, I can guarantee you one thing: they are going to make a trade at some point.

I don’t know if it will be sooner or later, but the faces of this team will be at least a little bit different by season’s end.

Hopefully a key difference in those faces will be the exuberance of victory and not the sagging look of disappointment.

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Chicago Cubs: Is Carlos Silva Really That Good?

On a gloomy Wednesday afternoon at Wrigley, Cubs’ right-hander Carlos Silva improved to 4-0 in his seventh start of the season. With a 4-3 win over the visiting Florida Marlins, Silva is off to his best start since 2004, where he began the season 5-0 for the Twins.

Sports fans and analysts alike were skeptical when Chicago General Manager Jim Hendry announced that the Cubs, after finishing the 2009 season 86-76, had acquired Silva for clubhouse virus Milton Bradley, and cash, from the Seattle Mariners. 

Bradley has struggled again this season. He’s since been placed on the inactive list after asking the Mariners front office for help with “emotional stress.”

Silva, meanwhile, has reclaimed his career, The righthander is tearing up the National League, backed by the sporadic Cubs offense. But is Silva really that good? 

When Silva has taken the mound this season, Chicago has outscored opponents 49-28. But the team is hitting just .271 on the season. 

Though Silva holds an unblemished record, his ERA has escalated to a season high 3.50, still his lowest in five seasons.

For the third time this year, Lou Pinella yanked Silva in the sixth inning. The starter surrendered seven hits, two runs and two walks.

Holding a two run lead in the top of the fourth, Silva gave up a two run single to Marlins catcher Ronny Paulino. The game tying hit scored Hanley Ramirez and Jorge Cantu. 

How does the Venezuelan right-hander keep winning with such mediocre performances?

Despite his fourth inning blunders, Silva would regain the lead with an RBI double by Marlon Byrd and a wild pitch by Chris Volstad. Volstad’s mistake allowed shortstop Starlin Castro to touch home, giving the Cubs a 4-2 lead. The runs were enough insurance for Silva, who notched his fourth win. 

In his May 7th victory, Silva received the most run support by the Chicago lineup with 14, while pitching only five innings and giving up 10 hits. Silva also has three no decisions, which came against the Reds (19-15), Nationals (19-15) and Diamondbacks (14-20). 

Silva could very well be 4-3.

On May 1st, Silva threw five innings, giving up five runs to the NL West worst Diamondbacks. The Cubs rallied in the sixth to, once again, save Silva from another blemish. 

Against the Nationals on April 26th, Chicago jumped out to an early 3-0 lead, which quickly evaporated when Silva allowed two runs in the fourth, then another in the sixth to tie the game at 3. He was lifted in the seventh. The Cubs eventually won the game in the bottom of the 10th when Brian Bruney walked the bases loaded.

Silva clearly isn’t as good as his record suggests. Though the pitcher obviously won’t maintain his ethereal 0.69 ERA, no one would’ve predicted that the Cubs OFFENSE would be the source of his success.


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