I must admit, I didn’t think we’d ever see outings like we’ve seen from Carlos Silva thus far this season — I was just glad that Milton Bradley was gone. When he had an awful 1st start during spring training, my worst nightmares seemed to be coming true. Silva was washed up after he had signed that big 4-year, $48 million free agent contract with the Seattle Mariners back in 2008. He would never even get back to being an average pitcher who would eat up innings for the Cubs, he would just continue to rack up poor numbers and be the guy who went 5-18 with a hefty 6.81 ERA in his 2 seasons in Seattle.
But somehow, Silva turned it around this spring and won one of the open starting spots in the rotation fairly early in the process. After that 1st bad outing, he became a much more focused and consistent pitcher and constantly pounded the strike zone. He has continued that effort into the regular season in a big way. Silva is 2-0 with a sparkling 0.93 ERA and a phenomenal 0.63 WHIP in 3 starts for the Cubs. He has allowed just 1 ER in 2 of his starts and zero earned runs in his other start. Typically a contact pitcher who relies on his defense to make plays and record outs, Silva has helped himself by giving up just 1 solo home run and issuing just 2 free passes all season long. In fact, he didn’t even walk a batter this season until his most recent start against the Mets in New York this past week.
Silva is thrilled with his new “lease on life”: “Thank God for the three good starts. I still have a little problem with my shoulder and everything. God knows what I went through the last few years. I’m a guy who never gives up. Everything happens for a reason, and thanks God everything has gone well, but it’s a long, long season.”
Silva also credited the Cubs pitching staff for helping him get off to a good start — “[Pitching Coach Larry Rothschild] said ‘I want you to do this, this and this’. I was like, Whoa’. It gave me a lot of confidence in him. I said ‘Wow, this guy is ready to work with me.’ That means a lot to me. .. For the last two years, I’ve been working so hard to get something good out of all this work. This is a good start, but we have to keep working hard. There’s a long way to go. I can continue helping this team.”
Silva has the right attitude and appears to be at a good place in his life. He doesn’t take anything for granted – Milton Bradley – do you hear that? – and he takes responsibility for being ready to pitch every 5th day. Now I know he won’t go undefeated or keep his ERA or WHIP under 1.00 forever, but this is a fabulous start for Silva and the Cubs. It takes the pressure off the rest of the pitching staff and it gives him more and more confidence that he can be a dominating pitcher in this league – expecially in the lighter-hitting National League. Good luck Carlos – we wish you the best!