MESA, Ariz. _ I hadn't even made it halfway downstairs at HoHoKam this sunny Sunday morning when I heard the Cubs had released pitcher Carlos Silva. They're on the hook for $11.5 million, but they'd just as soon be rid of Silva, who went out ripping his pitching coach yesterday.
UPDATE: Cubs GM Jim Hendry fired back this morning, and manager Mike Quade was none too happy with Silva, either.
“Basically, he wasn’t good enough to make the team," Hendry said. "You factor in not only spring training, but you try to go back and factor in the second half of last year, looking at a guy who had a 14-something ERA from July 11 and came to camp with a notion that he already had a spot in the rotation. Obviously the first 3-4 outings, quite poor.”
The Cubs, as you know, decided to keep Andrew Cashner as their fifth starter. They also kept Marcos Mateo for the bullpen. One pitcher who did well and got sent down was Casey Coleman. Hendry tied that into the Silva decision and had more words for Mr. Silva.
“We went through the normal things," he said. "Then it became apparent at the end that basically that Mateo and Casey Coleman, either one of them, deserved to be on the club much more than him.
“Obviously, we’re dealing with a man that at this particular point is his career is not willing to face the facts that what he’s done the last years except for a two-month period is well below major-league standards and seemed to make the continual problem of blaming everybody but himself. Twenty-nine hits in his first 11 innings of camp, and I wouldn’t have anybody that I’ve ever dealt with classify that as bad luck.
“Besides that, his comments about Mark Riggins were totally inappropriate and unacceptable. Once again, it’s a weakness for somebody that doesn’t perform well and chooses to blame somebody else on the way out.”
For his part, Q addressed Silva saying pitching coach Mark Riggins wasn't "straight" with him about pitching plans and seeming to belittle Riggins' experience by saying he had to know he's in the big leagues now.
"First of all, he's dead (bleeping) wrong about my pitching coach," Q said. "And I got no (bleeping) time for that. Second of all, respect, as much as he was respectful and our conversation was good, it's a two-way street. Period. I don't want to hear anything about respect. If you're not willing to give it, you ain't getting it. So I was really upset when I heard that.
"The third thing, and people need to know, whether he was upset with Riggs or whatever, the one thing everybody needs to know is _ and you guys had asked me a little bit _ this was my call (to not have Silva on the final 25-man). OK? This wasn't Jim Hendry. If you want to be irritated with somebody, this is on me. OK? My decision, complete and totally. I don't want anybody covering. I took a look at this thing. It's, 'We're going with Cashner,' and was given the freedom from my general manager and my assistant GM to do that. I'm not sure anybody really understood that."
Silva is free to sign with another team after he clears release waivers. Source say there was no interest from other teams in a trade for Silva, who probably will have to sign a minor-league deal with another team if he wants to keep pitching. In other words, instead of pitching for the Iowa Cubs, Silva may find himself pitching against them in April. We'll see.
That reduces the spring roster to 27 players. The Cubs will send out two catchers before breaking camp. I suspect the final announcements will be made today as the truck leaving for Chicago is here.
We'll have Cubs-Rockies lineups and much more today. You might even see yours truly on with Len and Bob today during the game.
And finally, the lineup:
B. Jackson, CF