Collectively frothing at the mouth, inhabitants of Cubs Universe spent Wednesday night and Thursday morning making mass demands about releasing the pugilistic Carlos Silva and having the team eat the $7 million or so they owe him for 2011.
I wish I could have put my arm around each and every one of the fumers. In a calm voice, I'd have counseled, "Look at Silva's record...He'll pitch himself off the Cubs."
Silva is the ultimate pitch-to-contact chap. And amid the trio of errors that led Silva to have it out with Aramis Ramirez in the dugout, the beefy right-hander was merely a batting-practice pitcher to the Milwaukee Brewers. He can be expected to show more of the same in spring training in the pitch-off for the fourth and fifth starters' jobs.
Silva's 8-0 start in 2010 was one of the biggest flukes in Cubs history. So were his 80 strikeouts in 113 innings. He's more likely to give up 255 hits in 203 innings or 246 hits in 180 1/3 innings -- a couple of his seasonal Minnesota Twins lines. His career-high in strikeouts was just 89 -- in 202 innings with the Twins in 2007. Silva would have a hard time making a park district softball team swing and miss.
Without having dropped some pounds, and with an even higher grumpy quotient that he normally possesses after the dustup with A-Ram, Silva's likely to make Cactus League hitters smile when he appears on a mound given the lighter desert air that promotes offensive explosions.
Andrew Cashner would have to implode, worse than what's likely in store for Silva, to not win one of the open starters' jobs. Say what you want about Randy Wells -- the third-year right-hander is a positive competitor who you'd want in your clubhouse any day. If Silva beats either one out for a job, he'll have pulled off the upset of spring training anywhere in the game.
Too bad the Cardinals aren't yet acting massively desperate after losing Adam Wainwright to Tommy John surgery. The Cubs could then pull off a very rare deal with their arch-rivals involving Silva. But if the Cards don't want Silva, why would anyone else?
In the end, the Cubs may be forced to eat the portion of the Silva contract on which they are on the hook. But they don't have to proactively dump him right now. Silva doesn't fool anybody on the mound, and he won't be working off a Cubs mound much longer.