Silva Bullet Can't Stop Sox

Carlos Quentin slugged a two-run homer in the top of the 1st and a three run home run in the top of the 2nd, giving the White Sox a lead they would never relinquish, as the Sox demolished the Cubs 15-3 in front of 12,712 fans and a national TV audience on WGN this afternoon at Dwight Patterson Field at HoHoKam Park in sunny Mesa.

box score

Acquired from the Seattle Mariners for Milton Bradley this past off-season, Carlos Silva got the start for the Cubs today and he is who we thought he was, allowing six runs on seven hits (including two Carlos Quentin home runs) in just two innings of work (43 pitches - 28 strikes, 0 BB, 2 K, 2/2 GO/FO).

Carlos Marmol worked the top of the 3rd and pitched great (1-2-3 inning: 3-U, Ks, Ks, 13 pitches - 11 strikes).

Down 6-0 at the start of the bottom of the 3rd, the Cubs mounted a rally, scoring three runs off Sox starter Dan Hudson, who was extended into the 3rd inning after facing only six batters through the first two. With one out, Geovany Soto laced a single, and Bobby Scales was hit by a pitch (the second HBP for Scales in two days). Ryan Theriot singled to load the bases, and then Kosuke Fukudome came through with a two-run ground single through the box into CF to score Soto and Scales and send Theriot to 3rd. Derrek Lee then got The Riot home with a line drive sac fly to right.

And that was the extent of the Cubs scoring today.

But the White Sox certainly were not finished.

LHP James Russell worked the 4th & 5th (36 pitches - 23 strikes, 3/1 GO/FO) and pitched well, allowing one unearned run (LF Alfonso Soriano over-ran a ball while trying to field a base hit with two outs in the 5th, allowing a runner to score all the way from 1st), two hits and a walk, with two strikeouts (including the fearsome Carlos Quentin).

Cubs 2008 #1 draft pick RHP Andrew Cashner pitched the 6th and 7th, and after a skittish first inning (25 pitches - only 11 strikes, with two walks on nine pitches to the first two batters he faced), Cashner settled-down and threw strikes in his 2nd inning (10 pitches - 8 strikes). Cashner allowed just one run (one of the walks scored in the 6th), but he was helped out the jam by a savvy pick-off at 2nd base by catcher Welington Castillo. On the play SS Andres Blanco suffered what appeared to be a right knee injury, and had to leave the game.

RHP Jeff Kennard entered the game in the top of the 8th with the Cubs down 8-3, and it was just plain excrutiating to watch. Kennard surrendered back-to-back home runs to Sox minor leaguers Brandon Short and Cole Armstrong to start the inning, and then after loading the bases on a single and two walks, Kennard gave up a bases-loaded two run single to another minor leaguer (Christian Marrero). At this point, Cubs Manager Lou Piniella made the slow walk to the mound and Kennard suffered a pitcher's worst Spring Training indignity... getting yanked out of a game without completing even one inning of work. For the day, Kennard allowed four runs on four hits (two HR) and two walks, with two strikeouts, throwing 37 pitches - only 18 strikes, in just 2/3 of an inning.

Mitch Atkins was brought in to complete the inning, and he struck out the only man he faced (Jordan Danks).

LHP John Grabow pitched the 9th (20 pitches - 12 strikes, 1 K, 0/2 GO/FO), and he was not a whole lot better than Kennard, allowing a single, a double, and then a three-run HR (to Jayson Nix). But at least Grabow finished his inning.

For the Cubs, Ryan Theriot and Geovany Soto had two hits a piece (all singles), but Theriot also hit into a rally-killing 4-6-3 DP with two on and no outs in the 5th. And after starting the Cactus League schedule 5-6 with three doubles, a single, and a home run, Tyler Colvin cooled-off a bit by going 0-2 with a strikeout (swinging) and a game-ending 6-4-3 DP.

The Cubs have a split squad doubleheader tomorrow, one game a rematch with the White Sox at Camelback Ranch and the other a home game versus the Dodgers at HoHoKam Park. RHP Jeff Samardzija and LHP Tom Gorzelanny are scheduled to start the games, although weather could be a problem, since rain is forecast with temperatures in the 50's. I believe one of the two games will be televised by WGN-TV, but I'm not sure which one.


Silva looked wild today, yet didn't walk anybody. The announcing crew made the comment that one thing Silva does is "throw strikes." It occurs to me that he might not be a great strike thrower despite having low walk totals, but I can't confirm that without some eye-witness reports. Here's what I'm wondering: Does he have good control, or does he just give in (aim for middle of the plate belt high) when he falls behind in the count?

he's a control pitcher with 2 pitches...and you don't need to swing at anything but his fastball if you're a capable hitter. his lack of deception makes his complete game useless...i seriously wouldn't even trust his arm in the pen.

another year that "3rd pitch dujour" he's supposedly working on won't be incorporated into his stuff, i'd imagine. is it the change this year or the splitter...maybe a curve? =p

the only thing he's got going for him is a chunk of those zillion hits he's bound to give up generally don't fly over the wall.

"the only thing he's got going for him is a chunk of those zillion hits he's bound to give up generally don't fly over the wall."


Something that really didn't apply to Carlos Quentin today.

yeah, last year his short stint in the majors wasn't good for that either.

I remember thinking that Silva had a worried look on his face before he started pitching in the top of the first inning. It didn't get any better as time went on. If confidence is a big part of success as a baseball player, he could be in real trouble (Captain Obvious here).

Other problems become obvious if you look over his fangraphs page (as I just did for the first time).

Although there is nothing wrong his fastball, over his MLB career he's thrown it 75.9% of the time with the other percentages mostly split between the slider and the changeup. Obviously he needs a better secondary pitch and a passable third pitch so that he can cut that fastball down to the mid 60s at least. Very few pitchers get away with throwing that many fastballs. Looks like Greg Maddux was in the vicinity at 69.2%, but he was also an excellent locator and had a good changeup. Wonder if Maddux can do something with Silva, or will he just stay far away from the whole mess and work with the youngsters?

Seems like he could do a good Bob Howry impression in the bullpen (who has thrown fastballs 78.2% of the time in his MLB career with about the same average velocity).

I remember thinking that Silva had a worried look on his face before he started...
The Autumn Moon stops serving their lunch buffet by 3:30 pm, so he should have been concerned.


Not Cub related but...
Dumbest quote of the week goes to Rotoworld:

"An MRI on Alex Rios' right shoulder Saturday revealed only routine soreness."

actually the mri was norma (if you follow their link to Scott Merkin's tweet)l. MRI's look at anatomy not symptoms (like soreness).

Guzman to rest 4-6 weeks, then test it out, surgery last options as results have not been good

The headline for the Daily Herald story at Rob G's link:
"Righthandeer Angel Guzman's injury hits Cubs hard"

I don't know about Guzman, but "deer" would pretty accurately describe the look on Ronny Cedeno's face most of the time.

Oh! We're probably a few months away from the connection between Guzman and Cedeno as once highly-regarded Cubs prospects fading to the point where comments about one will no longer function as openings for jokes about the other. Joke 'em if you've got 'em, folks.

guzman is "only" like 28/29, but he was expected to be a big deal as far back as 02/03.

crazy how the dude can't stay healthy year after year after year.

but cheer up...chad fox is still a free agent and spring training has barely begun. woo!

Well at least we still have the most reliable Cubs arm over the last 3-4 years in Mike Wuertz.

Ahhhhh crap we traded him for nothing.

Dumbest move ever for Hendry, even worse than signing Bradley.

The myth of the heralded Cub prospect-turned-bust is a fan favorite. Sometimes I wonder, though, how great these prospects were.

When was Cedeno highly regarded, and by whom?

Look at his terrible A-ball numbers. At 19 at Boise and Lansing: 539 pa, 486 ab, .214/.270/.296 (.567 OPS). At 20 at Daytona, 420 pa, 380 ab, .211/.257/.295 (.552 OPS).

Yeah, his resume has a lot in common with Vitters and Castro, or Hak-Ju Lee, who at 18 at Boise was named #1 prospect in the NW League.

Where were you in in 2005 when at age 22 Ronny Cedeno jumped from AA to AAA (where he hit .355/.921) to the Cubs(where he batted .300) and DustyHendry handed him the starting SS job the next year?

Cedeno was near the top of the Cubs prospects lists:

2005 Top Ten (Callis)

1. Felix Pie, of -may breakthrough this year with Orioles
2. Mark Pawelek, lhp -bust
3. Ronny Cedeno, ss -Pirates
4. Angel Guzman, rhp -broken down
5. Rich Hill, lhp -bust
6. Sean Marshall, lhp -on the Cubs' active roster
7. Ricky Nolasco, rhp -top of Marlins rotation when healthy
8. Ryan Harvey, of -bust
9. Brian Dopirak, 1b -bust
10. Eric Patterson, 2b -showed signs last year with A's

At 22 he had a good half season at Iowa. At 24, he had another good half season at Iowa. That's all he ever did, as of today.

I will give you this: after the 2005 half-season numbers at Iowa, Cedeno had a brief moment as a legit prospect. Going into the 2006 season, when Cedeno would be league-age 23, he was #94 on Callis's ML prospect list and honorable mention on BP's top 50. I doubt he was considered a legit prospect prior to that brief moment by anyone outside of the Cubs.

Compare that to the respect given to Castro and Vitters entering their league-age 20 seasons, or B. Jackson entering his age-21 season, or H-J Lee already at league-age 19.

The point I'm making is that we haven't seen prospects like Castro, Vitters, Jackson and Lee fail before, because with the possible exception of C-Pat, we never had them. Cedeno was not comparable.

C-Pat was the #2 or 3 prospect in baseball by BA for two years in a row, Castro is 16th, Vitters has been 43rd and 51st and 70th, Jackson 74th and Lee not even in the top 100.

Guys in the ballpark with Castro are Choi at 22nd, Dopirak at 21st and Felix Pie at 27th.

If you use the BP top 100 done by Kevin Goldstein who use to work at Baseball America, he has Vitters at 31 and Castro at 37. He had Vitters at 34 last year, Soto at 37 the year before and Felix Pie at 42 the year before that.

Well, I asked for evidence that the Cubs had high-rated prospects circa 2005, and you gave it to me.

Changing my emphasis a bit, I would point out that you're not a bust if you fizzle as soon as you go above low-A ball, like Patterson and Dopirak did. You're just a flash in the pan. Patterson skipped high-A and then had decent power numbers at AA, but a BA of .261. In other words, he was a former top-three prospect who was performing like Tyler Colvin in AA. Then he took a turn for the worse at Iowa. Dopirak had that one memorable season at low-A and then lost his prospect status very soon after.

Cedeno, as I pointed out, was a terrible hitter in the low minors but put up solid numbers at triple A.

I guess I would want a genuine prospect to "keep the dream alive" at more than one minor-league level. Castro could be a one-year wonder, I suppose, but it was a hell of a year, in which he skipped two levels, hit quite well at two others, and then distinguished himself in the AFL.

I'm looking for Brett Jackson to have another season like 2009, not only to do well at Daytona but to advance to Tennessee and do some good there. If he struggles at Daytona, I will start to consider him a bad first-round pick but not a bust. He hasn't earned that stature.

Choi and Pie actually had pretty good numbers at several levels at young ages, and in that sense could be considered busts, although Pie is still making progress toward becoming a major leaguer. Like Dopirak, Choi played a defensive position (poorly, as I recall) that is not a very good springboard to the majors. But I guess if a first-base prospect can ever be considered a bust, Choi qualifies.

Dopirak was added to the Blue Jays 40 man roster this offseason. I'm not saying anything about him being a bust or not. I'm just saying someone is taking a chance with him.

So, I'm curious about what in my post prompted this response. None of the posts preceding yours had anything to do with Castro, Lee, or Vitters. They were about Guzman and Cedeno, who were both in the Cubs' top 10 prospects in 2005 and whose careers have both dwindled into marginality/nothingness albeit for different reasons. No one said "busted" or derogated Cubs development. It was a comment about how these two careers have gone over the past 5 years. Were you preempting somebody?

Personally, I find it funny that I got all of this started by commenting on a misspelling in a headline about Angel Guzman. Ronny Cedeno wouldn't have even come up except that the "deer" reference in the misspelled "righthandeer" reminded me of him.

Cedeno has been used as a stick lately to beat Castro, so I'm a little touchy about bust-talk. Sorry if I over-reacted.

No need for an apology, I was just curious. There was sort of a free association theme to this thread.

To comment on your point, though, I haven't noticed many people trying to beat Castro, just a group of people who favor a cautious approach with a guy a prospect who they think cannot yet equal Theriot's at the major league level (including myself) arguing with a group of people who think that challenging Castro by putting him on the MLB team would be the best thing for both Castro and the team. Okay, some of us have been snarky about it *cough* Rob *cough*.

This would be a good time to bring up Renyel Pinto who I bet can do the 7th or 8th inning thing and Ricky Nolasco who could probably handle the #5 spot in the rotation.

Andrew Cashner has a nice changeup.

Blanco out 1 week-to-10 days with sprained ankle? As if anyone here cares...

It has been reported this morning it is his knee. Which is it?

I just have to note that the Cubs trainer abandoned Blanco on the way back to the dugout and Blanco, hopping on one foot, nearly fell down the stairs.

!What an organization....

I hope the front office doesn't feel an obligation to keep Silva on the 25-man roster and use him because of the money he's being paid.

My prediction is two more Cactus league appearances to 'prove' he can get someone out.

Well, Vizcaino did make the opening-day roster last year, and they let him pitch 3+ innings, at roughly $1 million per.

At that pay rate, Silva should get at least 16 innings.

Actually, when he wasn't getting clubbed around, mostly by Quentin, he did throw strikes and miss some bats. I thought he looked better than I expected.

It might help if Theriot could ever make a play on a ball that isn't hit right to him. I'm thinking of a couple of choppers toward short by Andruw Jones, one of which impacted Silva's performance.

It has been reported this morning it is his knee. Which is it?
Andres Blanco sprained his ankle yesterday on a pickoff at 2nd base (throw by Wellington Castillo). I saw the play on TV. Mark O'Neill came out and did the full trainer thang. To quote Wanny: "it's an ankle"

where did you see/hear a report it was his knee?

I'm on a crusade to right media medical reporting wrongs. :D

AZ Phil in his recap said it looked like it might be his knee.

-edit- Muskat says an MRI on his knee as well

looked like an ankle on TV as well to me.

"This will give me a chance to play (Mike) Fontenot at shortstop, which I said I needed to do," Piniella said. "We've got (prospect Rex) Barney in camp. We've got enough."

Is Rex a nickname or evil twin?

I'm sincerely hoping it's an evil twin.

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  • Dan Vogelbach is working on his firstbase defense in Seattle. Seems to say the Cubs didn't teach him properly.

    QuietMan 4 hours 19 min ago view
  • Oh my! Cards down 2-1 to Reds in the bottom of the 9th -- get a leadoff triple -- and don't score!

    billybucks 7 hours 32 min ago view
  • Gameday has stopped at the top of the 8th inning. Google tells me it ended up 8-4 Pirates but I can't get further detail. Guess I'll have to wait until the Cubs' website updates...

    JoePepitone 8 hours 36 min ago view
  • Attaboy!

    billybucks 8 hours 51 min ago view
  • Phil, thanks for posting. Where do find the schedule? I have a condo in Surprise, yet I drove to Mesa and Tempe looking for a game today! Thanks!

    rvimpeny 8 hours 52 min ago view
  • Dear Baseball Gods--
    My trip to Chicago has nothing whatsoever to do with the Cubs. In actuality, I am a Red Sox fan.

    CTSteve 8 hours 53 min ago view
  • Well, if Strop had to give up a least he hit Sean Rodriguez to do it.

    billybucks 9 hours 1 min ago view
  • strop...stawwwp.

    jaso has a cycle and 5 rbis...pit leads by 4.

    crunch 9 hours 13 min ago view
  • have a nice bowl of pizza soup deep dish pizza...or a leisurely walk around the notorious south-side (bring money) at one of the walmart supercenters...waiting in line to waste $20 at willis tower...

    seriously,'s chicago, a lot to do. have a dog for lunch, a great dinner, and catch some local comedy.

    crunch 9 hours 20 min ago view
  • Strange, because he really seemed to have the Pirates number last year.

    Bummer for Jake -- I think this is the first time all year his ERA has been over 3.00, and that will be his number for the year.

    billybucks 9 hours 24 min ago view
  • Jinx remover -- your trip doesn't have to be for a baseball game -- lots of stuff to do here in town.

    billybucks 9 hours 26 min ago view
  • Guess they could always try to White Sox (and Bears...sob) approach: Never Rebuild! Seems to work pretty well for them.

    billybucks 9 hours 28 min ago view
  • 3rd time this season he's given up 6+ runs to PIT...only team he's given up 6+ runs to this season.

    7 runs is the most he's given up since august 6th in 2014.

    crunch 9 hours 57 min ago view
  • Over 100 pitches, only the 5th.

    Brick 9 hours 59 min ago view
  • coghlan his cleats stuck in the wall attempting a play (failed, but looked great doing it). walking off on his own, precautionary/day-to-day looking stuff...hopefully not worse.

    also, jake arrieta is literally worse than hitler. 1-5, bottom 5. ...make that 1-6, bottom 5. ...make that 1-7, bottom 5.

    crunch 10 hours 52 sec ago view
  • Coghlan crashes into wall and comes up limping, looks like left knee or ankle. Leaves game...

    Arrieta inspiring no confidence yet again.

    Rob G. 10 hours 6 min ago view