Silva rocked in first start since dugout dispute

Silva rocked in first start since dugout dispute
March 7, 2011, 9:31 pm
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Monday, March 7, 2011
3:32 p.m. Updated 7:30 PM

By Patrick Mooney
CSNChicago.com

MESA, Ariz. Carlos Silva clapped his glove and pointed at Welington Castillo after his catcher threw out the runner at second base. This was the Cubs picking each other up, just like they talked about.

One inning later, it all unraveled.

Silva allowed seven consecutive Angels to reach base during Monday's 14-13 win. He drew mock cheers from the fans at HoHoKam Park once he finally got the first out of the third inning.

By then, you were lowering the odds on Andrew Cashner and Randy Wells making the rotation. This time Silva did not want to hear about how it might impact his chances.

You need a new question, Silva said, locking in on one reporter. Thats the only question you always ask.

The media actually had to wait nearly 48 hours before Silva finally agreed to talk about last weeks dugout confrontation with Aramis Ramirez.

Next question please, Silva said before muttering something under his breath.

That pressure to compete sparked last weeks dugout confrontation with Aramis Ramirez. Silva watched his teammates make three errors, told them to start making some plays and Ramirez took it personally. They had to be separated.

That meltdown led to a series of meetings, unwanted national attention and the first crisis of manager Mike Quades first full season on the job.After giving up eight runs on 10 hits in 2.1 innings on Monday, Silvas ERA is now 29.70 this spring.

Ultimately, Silva gets why hes being asked about his spot, but he doesnt appreciate it. In his mind, it started last spring training, if not from the moment he was acquired in the Milton Bradley deal.

I understand, Silva said. That was the main question every time I pitched well, when I pitched bad. When I pitched good, no one talked about it. Its the same question asked last year: Do you think this is going to affect you?

(I) cant think about it. If Im going to think that way it will put me down, too. Theyre going to make the decision and well see whats going to happen.

We live in a world of snap judgments and instant analysis, but publicly Quade is taking the long view.

Its about the body of work, Quade said. Hell be back and hell be better. Im convinced of that.

Silva made it unscathed through two scoreless innings before he lost control of his changeup. He couldnt blame this one on his defense. The Angels hit the ball hard, and all over the field. They knocked out eight hits during that sequence.

Silva insisted that he feels good, and wrote it off as bad luck and balls just finding holes.

The Cubs arent stretching out Cashner a 24-year-old former first-round pick just to abandon the plan come April. Wells who has accounted for 59 starts across the past two seasons has not allowed an earned run through his first five innings this spring.

At this point Quade hasnt planned how or exactly when he will announce the winners of the rotation auditions. The first round of roster cuts wont happen until around the March 16 off-day. The final decisions will be pushed toward the end of camp.

We dont know whats going to happen, Quade said. Heck, we could have three guys (get injured). I kind of hope for the best but anticipate the worst, so we need to keep everyone pitching and see how this plays out.

Silva has distanced himself from the idea that hes owed a job. He knows he needs to start showing some results.

If I focus on what happened Im going to get screwed, Silva said. Hopefully well forget about this one and keep working. Hopefully the next game it wont happen again.

PatrickMooney is CSNChicago.com's Cubs beat writer. FollowPatrick on Twitter @CSNMooneyfor up-to-the-minute Cubs news and views.