Buried among the notes about Carlos Silva’s crappy outing yesterday (and the Cubs’ overall poor performance), Mike Quade let something that may be pretty important slip:
“I think, right now, we look at [Silva] as a starter,” Quade said yesterday. “That’s the only way we look at him. I think he could [pitch out ofthe bullpen] if we needed him to, but I don’t think that’s worth addressing now. This guy is trying to be in our rotation, and I think we should look at it that way specifically. The kids are a different story.”
Silva currently sports a 15.88 ERA in 11.1 innings of work this Spring, and has not once looked like a capable starter. If the bullpen is not an option for Silva, it’s very hard to imagine him breaking camp with the Cubs. Unless he is absolutely perfect in his final two Spring starts – and even then it will take some major spin – it’s nearly impossible to imagine the Cubs announcing him as the fifth starter.
But then again, when it comes to poor roster decisions, this is a team that routinely makes the impossible actual.
There are many possible explanations for the quote, but the one that keeps coming back to me is that Quade doesn’t want Silva in his bullpen. He’s sending a message to the front office: if Carlos Silva doesn’t pitch his way into the rotation (and he won’t), do not force me to keep this guy on my squad.