I went to the Cubs Convention this year and some friends and I were joking about Carlos Silva at the autograph table. Shouldn't we be getting some money back to wait in this line? Is Jim Hendry going to come by and tap him on the shoulder and tell him he's been released in the middle of his autograph session? Silva doesn't even look like a baseball player. In street clothes he looks like just a guy. And if somebody were to tell you he played sports, you'd probably guess it was bowling or pool or maybe bags.
But after one bad start in spring training, Silva is suddenly looking very much like a ballplayer and he's in no danger of being released. As good as he was in spring training Silva, if anything, was even better in his regular season debut. Check out these numbers: 6 IP, 3 H, 0 BB, 3K, 1 ER. That's a pretty nice line. But here's the number that stood out at me today: 91...as in 91 miles per hour. This is the same guy who was throwing in the low 80s over the winter. If Silva can continue to throw 91 mph with good sinking action and pinpoint control, he's going to help the Cubs this year. Most of us were just happy to get rid of Milton Bradley and couldn't have cared less had we received a box of jockstraps in return. As it is, the Cubs got $6M and a pitcher who looks like he may have turned the clock back 3 years when he was good enough to receive a $48M dollar contract. It's only one start and a lot of things can happen, but that one number -- 91 -- is for real. And if he can do that, throw strikes, change speeds and keep the ball down, there's no reason he can't eat some innings this year and even win his share of games in the process.
Too bad Esmailin Caridad blew this one for him.