Cubs release Carlos Silva after awful spring

Chicago Cubs pitcher Carlos Silva delivers a pitch to Houston Astros batter Angel Sanchez in the first inning of their MLB National League baseball game in Houston July 26, 2010. REUTERS/Richard Carson (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

The Cubs can finally awake from the nightmare that is Carlos Silva, who was released on Sunday after posting a 10.90 ERA while surrendering 32 hits over 17 1/3 innings this spring.

In December of 2009, Chicago traded one past mistake in Milton Bradley to acquire a future mistake in Silva, who told the club on Friday that there’s “no chance” he’d report to the minors if the Cubs couldn’t trade him. He also took a couple of shots at pitching coach Mark Riggins, saying he was “not straight” with him about the team’s plans and that Riggins “had to learn he’s in the big leagues now.” After the team dumped him on Sunday, maybe Riggins can return the favor by telling Silva that he better learn that he’s in the unemployment line now. (Zing! I know, not my best but it played.)

Granted, Silva (9-3, 3.45 ERA, 1.14 WHIP) was effective last year before a heart issue derailed his season. But unfortunately for the Cubs, they’re still on the hook for the $11.5 million owed to him this year so the term “value” doesn’t come to mind here, even when you factor in Silva’s numbers from last season. I guess this is the price you pay when you hand Milton freaking Bradley a three-year, $30 million contract and think you can unload him on the Marines by taking on their contract albatross. But in the end, everybody losses.

On a related note, Andrew Cashner was named the Cubs’ fifth starter after the release of Silva.

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In the worst win-win trade of the year, the Cubs deal Bradley to Mariners for Silva

Somehow, someway, the Cubs found a team to take Milton Bradley off their hands. And somehow, someway, the Mariners found a team to take Carlos Silva off their hands.

In a trade only Chicago and Seattle fans could love (and hate?), the Cubs traded Bradley to the M’s for Silva. The Cubs will also receive $9 million in cash to help cover some of Silva’s salary over the next two years.

So basically, the Cubs traded their garbage to the Mariners for their trash. But the key is that both teams rid themselves of headaches.

Bradley is only a season removed from batting .321, but he’s also a headcase and could potentially ruin a clubhouse. He was a horrible signing for the Cubs, but Seattle has a way of mellowing players out so maybe Bradley will succeed as the club’s left fielder and part-time DH.

There’s really no silver lining when it comes to Silva, unless you buy into the theory that he will succeed by jumping to the NL. He posted an 8.60 ERA and a 1.70 WHIP in 30 innings last year and a 6.46 ERA over 153 1/3 innings in 2008. And that was in a pitcher’s park. The guy isn’t good, but again, Bradley is no longer a Cub and at least Chicago was able to scoop up $9 million in the deal too.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

Top 10 Active MLB Control Artists

Show me a pitcher who doesn’t walk many batters, and I’ll show you a pitcher that wins games. Plain and simple, if you don’t hurt yourself by putting guys on base, you’re going to be in games and win a good portion of them. Here, we take a look at those active pitchers with the best control, i.e. those hurlers who yield the least amount of walks per nine innings. Interestingly, the Top 10 consists of all starting pitchers……

1. Carlos Silva, Seattle Mariners (1.634)–Okay, so Carlos Silva has lost more games than he’s won (59-60), but he’s pitching for the pathetic Mariners this year. What I’m saying is, 4-14 for a team that is 46-75 isn’t bad. And check this out…in 2005 with Minnesota, Silva pitched 188 1/3 innings and walked only nine batters. That’s just sick.

2. Jon Lieber, Chicago Cubs (1.725)–Journeyman Jon Lieber has been in the bigs since 1994, and has never walked more than 51 batters in a season. There’s no doubt his career ERA of 4.26 would be much higher if it weren’t for his excellent control.

3. Greg Maddux, San Diego Padres (1.803)–What, you expected not to see Mr. Maddux on here? Control is to Greg Maddux’ game what hot sauce is to Buffalo wings.

4. Ben Sheets, Milwaukee Brewers (1.960)–Sheets has never won more than twelve games in a season, but part of that is because he can’t stay off the disabled list. Sheets has nearly four times as many career strikeouts (1181) as walks (303) in seven-plus seasons.

5. Curt Schilling, Boston Red Sox (1.962)–It’s too bad that if we play word association, I’ll say “Curt Schilling” and you’ll say “bloody sock.” Then again, that also sums up the grit and determination of this guy. If I need to win a game, he’s one of maybe five pitchers I’ll give the ball to.

6. Mike Mussina, New York Yankees (1.987)–If you can see the concentration in a pitcher’s eyes, you know he’s focused on putting the ball over the plate and trying to get the hitter out. And how about this? In 18 seasons, Mussina has only hit 58 batters and thrown 71 wild pitches. Also, his 265-151 career record shows that my theory above has a bit of validity.

7. Mark Buehrle, Chicago White Sox (2.060)–Though he’s only won 117 games in almost nine seasons, Mark Buehrle is a workhorse (has never pitched less than 200 innings in a full season) who keeps his White Sox in games.

8. Roy Oswalt, Houston Astros (2.084)–Do you get the feeling Roy Oswalt hasn’t yet reached his potential? The guy is 122-62 since breaking into the majors in 2001, with a 3.20 ERA and 1286 strikeouts. And his control (360 walks, 16 wild pitches) isn’t too shabby, either.

9. Paul Byrd, Boston Red Sox (2.119)–I’m not sure that Byrd throws harder than 80 miles per hour, but there’s no doubt he can still get hitters out, which is why the Red Sox just obtained him from the Indians. And he gets better with age….in 2005 with the Angels, Byrd walked 28 batters in 204 1/3 — that’s 1.2 batters per game.

10. Roy Halladay, Toronto Blue Jays (2.127)–With a 124-64 record over 11 seasons with mostly mediocre Toronto, Roy Halladay has consistently been one of the game’s best pitchers during his career.

Source: Baseball Reference

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