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Carlos Silva no longer has the inside track on a rotation spot this year. That much is clear after a second consecutive abysmal Spring performance yesterday. What remains unclear is whether the portly starter, who paired a dominant first half with an ineffective and injury-filled second half in 2010, can put it together in the remaining few weeks of Spring to claim one of the two open rotation spots.

But Silva isn’t particularly eager to talk about that, even though it’s on the tip of everyone else’s tongue.

Asked if he believed his spot in the starting rotation was in jeopardy, Silva took umbrage to the line of questioning.

“You always come in here . . . man, you need new questions,’’ he told the reporter. “That’s the only question you always ask. Next question, please.’’

Silva did calm down a bit, but he made it very clear that the pressure to perform is bigger than usual this spring — and that pressure might be winning.

“To be honest with you guys, I’m always worrying,’’ Silva said. “Is that going to ruin me? I mean, last time I didn’t even talk to my own son. Like right now, I was sitting here for a long time, let it go and [when my son] comes in with a big smile, treat him like my son. Forget this game for a little bit.

“Just keep working and try to get better. Mentally, for me, I’m going to be fine. I feel great. Man, I feel strong. But look at that one inning. You have that type of inning, and it’s like, ugh . . . that’s what people see.’’ Chicago Sun-Times.

Well, gee willackers, Mr. Silva. I’m sorry that we focus on just one bad inning. In the future, we’ll ignore one disastrous inning per game if that will make you feel better. It’ll make your stats look great, too!

First, let’s dispense with the pleasantries, Carlos: I’m not particularly interested in coddling a guy who’s being paid millions of dollars this year, regardless of his role. The poor me schtick is even less effective on a guy who’s been terrible for two and a half of the last three years. Newsflash, Carlos, this isn’t you struggling through a few bad innings, and people judging you harshly for it. This is just you. This is how you pitch. You are performing as you perform.

Second, you better get used to folks asking you about the rotation. Of course that’s the only question people want to ask! You’re in a competition for one of two precious spots, not just on the roster, but in the Cubs’ rotation; and, if you land in the rotation, it means that one of the Cubs’ best pitchers over the last two years (Randy Wells) or the Cubs’ top young pitcher (Andrew Cashner) will not make the rotation. So, yes, people are very interested in the rotation competition, and are particularly interested in seeing just what it is that you bring to the table.

For what little time you have left with the Cubs, you should probably get used to it.

  • greg

    What a coincidence, he doesn’t want to hear about him in the rotation; I don’t want to see him in it!

  • Mike

    That proves how much Rothchild was helping. We had none of these issues with him. I think with a new pitching coach it will take time to adopt to what is going on. The pressures of Chicago Media….strap in Cubs fans, this is going to be a very long year for us. I wouldn’t be surprised if Quade did not make it all year. We aren’t even through half of spring training and there is entirely too much attention on the negatives of this team.

  • Jeff

    If this guy can’t deal with the pressure of earning a rotation spot, then there is no way he’s going to handle the pressure of a postseason run in Chicago. He just seems like another player with entitlement issues, who cracks under pressure when it matters most. He’s done it in Seattle and Minnesota. Look at this guys career numbers, he’s never been good. I can’t believe he got a 12 million a year contract when he did. His best year was average at best. What is the upside that Hendry and Quade seem to see. Why is anyone under the impression that this guy can pitch?

    • wax_eagle

      Actually Silva was pretty good until he couldn’t stay healthy after the big contract. He has 3 years over 3+ WAR (fangraphs). He was even pretty darn useful last year (2.1 WAR). He probably shouldn’t be a starter on a team with better options (Wells #4, younger guy #5). But the argument with him is the same one it is with Soriano, we are paying him 12mil this year, we can pay him to produce a win above replacement, or we can pay him and a replacement to break even.

      Now if his replacement will earn more than 1 WAR then we get into a real discussion. Do we pay Silva to earn his 1-2 WAR and waste the younger better player, or do we cut Silva loose, still pay him and hope his replacement can perform at the same or a better level for way cheaper.

      This situation is different from Soriano because Silva isn’t as useful of a player and the possibility of a minor leaguer (Cashner, Mateo, etc) coming in and performing at his level or better is much higher than it is with Soriano and say Brett Jackson or Colvin playing full time with Dome playing 150 games in right.

      • Jeff

        He has topped 200 innings twice in his career , his ERA has been below 4 one time, he gives up the long ball at a high rate every time he pitches over 150 innings, he has negative WAR 3 of the past 5 seasons, he has had ERA+ years at 50, 66, and 75. He has not had a “good” season since 2005, and even that wasn’t all that great of a year. He is a 5th or swing starter at his best, and he is far removed from that. The guy thinks he is a top of the rotation starter, when the truth is, he never any better than a 4th or 5th starter on a contending team. Why would any team in their right mind let someone with his track record pitch when his ceiling is lower than the floor of the young guys competing alongside him. No one is going to convince me that this guy should even be in the conversation for a rotation spot.

    • PFK

      The upside is that the Cubs saved alot of money on the Bradley contract by taking Silva. Other than that they get zilch from him. Although he’s in horrible physical shape and a definite head case, he’s not as bad a psycho as Bradley and helps keep our minds off of Zambrano (for a few minutes anyway). It also keeps us from noticing Koye Hill still looking for his first hit and Carlos Pena still trying to hit above.100. Ouch!

      • Hogan

        Not to mention, the Cubs only owe him 6 mil for this year (Seattle is paying the rest) and a 2 million dollar buyout for 2012. However, 8 mil is still way more than this guy is worth, and if I were in charge I might be willing to take a six mill hit this year to give a young guy with big upside a chance.

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