Sunday, March 27, 2011Posted 10:40 a.m. Updated 2:41 p.m.
By Patrick Mooney
When things are going good, Carlos Silva can be charming and engaging. But when Silva has doubts, he will tell you exactly what he thinks. The Cubs have apparently heard enough.
One day after Silva ripped the organization and specifically pitching coach Mark Riggins for the way he was treated, the Cubs simply released him, even though hes owed 11.5 million this year.
Sundays move was announced in a terse press release that ran all of two sentences. The Cubs had already told Silva that he wouldnt make the 25-man roster, and he understandably refused to go to Triple-A Iowa as an insurance policy.
General manager Jim Hendry had said that he would explore trade possibilities leading up to Opening Day. But there couldnt have been much of a market for Silva, no matter how much money the Cubs kicked in.
Speaking with the media in Arizona, Hendry called Silvas comments about Riggins totally inappropriate and unacceptable.
"Once again, it's a weakness for somebody who doesn't perform well and chooses to blame somebody else," Hendry told reporters.
Silva gave the Cubs more than they ever could have expected when they took him and cash considerations from the Seattle Mariners in the Milton Bradley deal. He went 8-0 with a 2.93 ERA in his first 11 starts and looked like a potential All-Star.
I love these fans, Silva said after his first Wrigley Field debut. They got so much passion for the game. Its so fun. Ive never seen anything like that. And my favorite part is when we win the game and they sing that song Go Cubs Go. Its like beautiful.
The smiles didnt last forever. A series of health issues limited Silva to just 5.1 innings last August and September and he never really shared in the late-season surge the Cubs enjoyed under manager Mike Quade.
At first, Silva didnt understand why he had to compete for a job as the fifth starter. Then he nearly got into a fight with Aramis Ramirez in the dugout and struggled with his confidence and location.
Even with a strong outing last week Silva allowed one run in six innings and retired 17 of the final 18 Oakland As he faced his spring ERA was still 10.90.
The Cubs are convinced that Andrew Cashner can become a high-end starter and the 24-year-old will take the final spot in the rotation. Casey Coleman, 23, will be ready in Iowa in case of injury. Coleman went 4-2 with a 3.33 ERA in eight starts last season and has impressed many in the organization with his poise and intelligence.
Silva will turn 32 next month and it will be interesting to see if he resurfaces with a National League Central rival that might need another starting pitcher. The Mariners are reportedly responsible for the 2 million buyout of Silvas 2012 option.
PatrickMooney is CSNChicago.com's Cubs beat writer. FollowPatrick on Twitter @CSNMooneyfor up-to-the-minute Cubs news and views.