Throw It Like a Ballplayer

providing baseball commentary and ponderings since April 2010

Posts Tagged ‘carlos silva’

Carlos Silva in 2011: A Big “So What”?

Posted by dannmckeegan on March 6, 2011

There could be a reason for a team to jettison a big, fat, bloated contract, even if there is positive value of some sort to be gained from the player’s performance. The Cubs might be in such a situation this year. They owe Carlos Silva $12 million plus a $2 million buyout (less the money Seattle threw in with the Bradley trade). And Silva was good for half a season in 2010. But the Cubs have a fairly reliable set of starting pitchers in Ryan Dempster, Matt Garza, Carlos Zambrano and Randy Wells. No Phillies, surely, but more than competent.

They also have a stable of youngsters seen as starters in the near future: Andrew Cashner, Casey Coleman, Jay Jackson, Christopher Carpenter, Trey McNutt, James Russell, and Austin Bibens-Dirkx all are at worst Triple-A starters in 2011. More than one probably has MLB-level stuff right now.

Seven names. Five spots in Iowa’s rotation. And that doesn’t include Hung-Wen Chen and a few guys bordering on filler/fading prospect. McNutt can probably thrive for a while beating up on the Southern League. Carpenter, Jackson, Russell, and Bibens-Dirkx could all use full seasons at Triple-A as pure starters. Both Cashner (power) and Coleman (sinker) showed some flashes in the majors last year and are capable of pitching at that level, if not thriving as a starter.

So now we have Carlos Silva’s big, fat contract pushing not one, but two or maybe even three young players away from the proverbial catering table. Silva’s ceiling is what he did last year: good luck on his sinker leading to some 5-6 inning starts and some time missed due to injury. His downside, we know, is a repeat of Seattle. If we consider that one of the kids will displace him at some point anyway, simply out of basic roster need, then it doesn’t make sense to keep him on the active or 40-man roster. Even if he can reproduce his 2 WAR 2010 this year, we have to weigh that (likely in 100-130 innings) against potential harm done to prospects not being challenged.

Keeping a guy like Carlos Silva around in a situation like the Cubs currently have is akin to telling a high school sophomore with an A- average that he has to repeat geometry because a senior with a C average and a case of senioritis blew off and failed world lit and didn’t graduate. You don’t punish the sophomore. You promote him normally and figure out how to accommodate the “demote” after everything else is in place. Silva’s getting his money either way. Is his projected 2011 performance (approximated as a WAR value) actually more valuable than a lesser performance by another player this year but an improved probability of stronger production (approximated by WAR value) in future years by one or more of those prospects?

If the Cubs see all of those prospects as MLB talents, then they would be doing less than due diligence if they failed to explore every means of challenging them. It’s not just for the Cubs themselves, but also to shore up added trade value. Is Player X worth more at age 23 with a 3.5 K/BB and 2.25 ERA at Double-A or a 3.2 K/BB and 3.25 ERA at Triple-A? If a guy smokes a league he has to repeat, then the response is, “He should be doing that. He’s playing too low.” It is preferable to see struggles and adjustments at the next level. Carlos Silva might be making that more difficult for the Cubs this year.


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Silva’s Bum Ticker Gives Rookie a Shot

Posted by dannmckeegan on August 2, 2010

The Cubs have placed SP Carlos Silva on the 15-day disabled list for cardiac evaluations (who had “bum ticker” in the office pool?) after he was forced to leave Sunday’s start at Colorado in the first inning because of an elevated heart rate.

Between Silva’s health issue and the trade of Ted Lilly, the Cubs starting rotation was down to three men: Ryan Dempster, Randy Wells and Tom Gorzelanny.

To fill the two vacant spots in the starting rotation and on the active roster, Thomas Diamond and Casey Coleman (both righties) have been purchased from Iowa.

On the season, Diamond has made 21 starts, averaging about 5.1 IP/GS. He’s 5-4 with a 3.16 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 86 hits allowed, and a 104:46 K/BB ratio. He’s allowed 9 HR, or 0.75 HR/9. He is said to have a mid-90s fastball and above average slider and change. Iowa manager Ryne Sandberg has said he’s been effectively wild at times, and hopefully he can harness his stuff at the next level. At 27, this would likely be his first and last chance to make up for the time he lost due to injury. Just about every scouting report says control, control, control.

Coleman is 10-7 with a 4.07 ERA in 20 starts for Iowa, of which he’s completed 2 and averaged just under 6 IP/GS. He’s given up 106 hits (10 HR) in 117.1 IP, has walked 35, and struck out 59. His WHIP is 1.20, while his HR/9 is 0.77. He turned 23 years old just one month ago. He’s an extreme ground ball pitcher (1.90 GO/AO in 2010) who has held righties to .200 BAA, while lefties have been more successful (.298 BAA). He was a 15th-round pick in the 2008 amateur draft. Needless to say, he has a decent sinker, but Patrick Schaefer of Bleacher Report says his changeup is his best pitch. Late in ’09, he added a cutter to his repertoire. Vineline’s preseason “Fifty Names From the Farm” rate Coleman as having the best command in the system, as well as ranking top-five in poise, athleticism, durability and mechanics.

Well, now’s the time for the kids to continue making an impact.  For those keeping score, eight of twenty-five active Cubs have rookie status.  Only two had previously been on the Cubs’ MLB roster for cups of coffee, those being RHP Justin Berg and OF Tyler Colvin.  Bullpen arms James Russell (14th round, 2007), Andrew Cashner (1st round, 2008), Brian Schlitter (16th round, 2007 by PHI) and SS Starlin Castro (signed 2006) are the other four.

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Milton Bradley vs. Carlos Silva & Cash, part 2

Posted by dannmckeegan on May 12, 2010

A name that Mariners fans loathe.  A name that causes unease among Cubs fans.  A name that, despite appearing in only eight box scores in the major leagues in 2009, has found itself featured in headlines on the web, on cable sports shows, and in print.  An absurd contract, a track record of injury, poor performance over a prolonged stretch, outspoken criticism of his team and management, and inclusion in an off-season trade of two teams’ undesirables that would make an NBA general manager proud.  Undefeated so far in six 2010 starts for Chicago.  This is Carlos Silva. Read the rest of this entry »

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Milton Bradley vs. Carlos Silva & Cash, Part 1

Posted by dannmckeegan on April 8, 2010

Congrats to Kurt Suzuki of the A’s for his walkoff double last night.  As you can see in the video, Mariners LF Milton Bradley, who managed his first home run (and hit) with his new club last night, doesn’t quite pull that one in.  Is there a little schadenfreude on my end?  Not really, since it isn’t Bradley himself that causes me to draw attention to him.  The majority of the baseball commentariat – talking heads, writers and bloggers alike – was convinced that Seattle had fleeced the Cubs in the off season.  In an exchange of bad fits, they said, Bradley was by far the better option and well worth the extra money Seattle has to pay Chicago to take on Carlos Silva.  Foolishness. Read the rest of this entry »

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