Tagged: Carlos Silva

2013-2014 TO DO LIST

I do this every year.  I come up with a “TO DO LIST” for the Cubs.  Each year, I am a little ambitious in my list.  This year, will be somewhat similar.  So, let’s do this!

1.  The Cubs need to hire a new manager.  Some of the names that have been floated around are Dave Martinez, Rick Renteria, A.J. Hinch, Mike Maddux and Manny Acta.  I would prefer Mike Maddux, but I have a feeling the Cubs will go with Rick Renteria.  Just think, we could have had Ryne Sandberg a couple of years ago, but Theo & Jed went with Dale Sveum.  We see how that worked out!

2.  The Cubs have a lot of holes on their roster.  Free agency cannot fill all of them realistically.  Yet, there are some potential moves that could happen.
Jacoby Ellsbury or Shin-soo Choo are both viable options to sign and become our new leadoff hitter.

3.  As much as I like Welington Castillo the idea of signing Brian McCann is enticing.  His bat in the lineup as a catcher would be an upgrade.  Yet, no matter if the Cubs make a big splash in free agency, we do not have the depth at pitching needed to compete with the Cardinals, Pirates and Reds in the NL Central at this point and time.

4.  Trade options.  Trading for David Price would cost the farm…..literally!  But it is an option.  Heck, trade Starlin Castro and Jorge Soler in a deal for him.  I know it would take more than just those two, but it is a start.  Don’t trade Javier Baez or Albert Almora though.  Those two have too much talent to lose.

5.  Stay patient and wait til our younger players arrive.  Javier Baez, Albert Almora, Jorge Soler and Kris Bryant all have high ceilings and are not that far off from playing in the big leagues.

Basically, the Cubs have a lot of money available to spend.  It’s hard to believe that the Cubs were 3rd in payroll in 2010 at just under $150 million.  Since then the Cubs no longer have to pay the huge contracts for Carlos Zambrano, Ryan Dempster, Aramis Ramirez, Kosuke Fukudome, Carlos Silva, Alfonso Soriano, Ted Lilly and Derrek Lee.  The farm system has been restocked with hitters at every level.  Pitching is still a little bit thin, but it is improving.  I truly believe the Cubs are not that far off from competing.  But it’s going to take some work.  The Cubs have too many holes to fill in free agency this off-season.  I say let the young players earn their way to the big league roster and get their feet wet.  Our infield could have Javier Baez at SS or 3B, Rizzo at 1B, Barney at 2B and Castro at SS or OF.  The outfield could consist of Almora CF, Bryant LF or 3B and Soler in RF.

Whatever decisions are made I’m still a Cubs fan.  First things first though.  Let’s hire a manager.  I want Maddux but am predicting Renteria.

CARLOS SILVA

Sorry, but I had to chime in on Silva.  

It was only a matter of time before the Chicago Cubs cut ties with Carlos Silva.  As most of you already know, Silva was dealt to the Cubs for volatile outfielder Milton Bradley.  Essentially, the trade was one bad contract for another…..Bradley with his temper and Silva with his health issues and inability to get batters out.  I’ve read that some fans feel the Cubs were foolish in trading for Silva and I understand their thinking, but I disagree with them.  He surprised almost everyone the first half of 2010 for the Cubs, but that was just a glimpse of the pitcher that he once was.  Silva may be upset over the handling of the situation, but he was terrible this spring with an ERA almost at 11.00.  That’s not how you win a job with a major league team.  Randy Wells has posted a 2.10 ERA this spring and Andrew Cashner a 4.41.  These are the two players that beat out Silva for the 4th and 5th spots in the starting rotation.  Marcos Mateo beat him out for the final bullpen spot by posting a 1.29 ERA this spring at the time of this post.  Silva has no one to blame but himself.  If he had pitched as well as these other pitchers he may still have a job with the Cubs.  Instead, he will still be collecting a nice salary that will be paid by the Cubs and Mariners.

MARCH MADNESS AND OTHER STUFF

The Cubs have begun to make cuts this week and the team is beginning to take shape.  We still have some battles going on for the starting rotation and bullpen along with bench player spots for the hitters.  We have two weeks to figure out who’s gonna stay and play and who’s being sent down or released.  

I was reading about trade rumors involving Chris Davis and to my disappointment the Cubs do not seem to be one of the teams interested in him right now.  I still say he would be a great power bat off the bench capable of playing both corner infield positions.  
Carlos Silva has been scouted by a few teams this spring.  For his sake, I hope he does get traded to a team that will allow him to start.  I don’t see him as a starter for the Cubs this year.  One idea I read about was Silva for Oliver Perez of the Mets.  I like that idea.  Perez would be a free agent after the season and he is a lefty.  We could use him in the bullpen and hopefully a fresh start with a new team would benefit him.  
I really like a lot of the talented young players the Cubs sent to their minor league camp this week.  Pitchers like Jay Jackson, Trey McNutt and Chris Carpenter along with hitters Brett Jackson and Josh Vitters.  I think our minor league teams in Iowa and Tennessee will have good seasons with these players.  I think our starting pitching rotation at Iowa this year looks strong and I expect several of these guys to be pitching for the big league club soon.  
Finally, it’s March Madness and I’m excited.  I’ve filled out my brackets and I have the Kansas Jayhawks winning it all.  For the record, I filled out my picks before the President made his.  It just so happens he and I finally agree on something!  

JUST RANDOM THOUGHTS

The Chicago Cubs appear to content with the lineup we currently have.  I was kind of hoping we would trade Fukudome, but that does not seem like it will happen.  I was also a little bit interested in Michael Young to play second over the platoon of Blake DeWitt and Jeff Baker, but that is not going to happen either.  Another possible “solution” for second would be Luis Castillo if the Mets were willing to part with him.  Personally, I don’t like this idea at all.  The one move I still think the Cubs could make is acquiring Chris Davis from the Rangers.  I think it would take catcher Wellington Castillo and another high minor league player.  

I keep reading that teams are scouting Carlos Silva and Braden Looper.  I would love to see with us part with Silva no doubt.  However, I am curious to see what Looper could bring to the team this season.  
Matt Garza pitched four solid innings in his last outing which has me excited.  I think our starting five will be Ryan Dempster, Carlos Zambrano, Matt Garza, Randy Wells and Andrew Cashner.  However, Braden Looper is making a strong case to make the rotation.  The downside of this rotation is that we do not have a lefty in there.  Ted Lilly was a great competitor during his time with the Cubs and he will be missed. Our bullpen is looking good too in my opinion.  Marshall, Wood and Marmol will anchor the pen and hopefully Samardzija and a healthy Grabow will be able to help out as well.
Scott Moore is making a good impression this spring and while I don’t think he will make the team, I believe he would be a great mid-season call up if someone were to get injured.  However, I would rather have Chris Davis as our corner infielder.  No offense to Moore, but I’ve been fixated a bit on Davis this off-season.  
That’s all I have for today.  It’s supposed to be in the 60s tomorrow and in the 70s on Thursday here in southern Illinois.  I hope the weatherman is right!

RANDOM STUFF

I’ve got a few things I want to touch base on today before I enjoy some spring training baseball and college basketball.  

The Cubs rotation is beginning to take shape.  Carlos Silva seems to be pitching himself out of a job in the starting rotation.  Meanwhile, Randy Wells has looked good and stands a good chance to lock up the job as the 4th starter for the Cubs.  
I am betting on Andrew Cashner as our 5th starter at this point in the spring.  He hasn’t pitched great, but he hasn’t pitched bad either.  
Marlon Byrd is really hitting the cover off the ball this spring.  I expect this will be the best year of his career.  I know we need a big year from him along with several other players and I am encouraged by the job Rudy is doing with some of our hitters.  
Jeff Samardzija has struggled with his command in the past, but has yet to walk a batter this spring.  I know he’s only thrown 4.1 innings as of this post, but still, if he can throw strikes consistently I expect him to be a big help to our pen. 
I’m concerned about the platoon at second with Blake DeWitt and Jeff Baker.  I was hoping the one of these two players would elevate their play this spring and win the starting job.  Neither one of them looks too sharp early in the spring.    
I plan on watching the Cubs this afternoon and hopefully they will play well.  I’m not concerned with wins and losses in spring training.  Instead, I want to see players perform well and do the little things that will help them win in the season.   

TRADE IDEAS…..AGAIN

Now that the Cubs roster is beginning to take shape I think the Cubs would be wise to make a trade or two before the season starts.  I have 3 players in mind to trade away.  They are Jeff Baker, Kosuke Fukudome and Carlos Silva.  I would like the Cubs to get Chris Davis in return for any of these players.  If you’ve read my blog some this winter then you will know that this is something I have mentioned several times.  

Here’s my thoughts on Baker.  We could trade him and replace him with Chris Davis.  Davis is a true corner infielder.  He could backup Aramis Ramirez and Carlos Pena.  This would allow Darwin Barney to backup Starlin Castro and Blake DeWitt.  Davis has a lot of power and would be a power threat off the bench.
If the Cubs were to trade Fukudome it would open up an everyday position for Tyler Colvin.  While some Cub fans may not be sold on Colvin, I am.  Also, if we were to trade Fukudome that would allow Reed Johnson and Fernando Perez to both make the team strengthening our outfield defense and give us a lot of speed off the bench.  
Finally, trading Silva would allow one of our younger pitchers or one of our veteran non-roster invitees to make the starting rotation.  I know Silva had the blow up with Ramirez, but that’s not the main reason I would like to trade him.  He hasn’t pitched all that well this spring and I believe he will be on the DL by mid-summer.  
As long as we got Chris Davis in a deal I would be happy.  There are no other players that I have in mind at this point.  Maybe we could get some low level minor leaguers in a deal.  Plus, we could unload Fukudome’s and Silva’s contracts to a team willing to pay them.  I don’t think a trade will happen soon, but these are just a few ideas.  

GO CUBS GO!!!

RANDOM THOUGHTS

With the injury to Adam Wainwright, I truly think the Cards need to sign Jeremy Bonderman.  He’s the type of pitcher that Dave Duncan could turn around and get 12 wins from this season.  

The Cubs need to trade Carlos Silva to the Yankees so he and Bartolo Colon can battle to make their rotation.  I can also imagine each of them tearing up the buffet’s in Tampa this spring.  
The Cubs need to find a real leadoff hitter for the future.  I know that Fukudome may get the job this spring, but he’s not the real solution to this problem.  Neither is Starlin Castro.  I think Castro is better suited to hit second at this point in his career.  Maybe Brett Jackson will be the answer for 2012.  
The Cubs defense has been pitiful so far this spring.  I hope they are taking extra fielding practice.  I imagine that Q has them doing this and I am gaining more and more confidence in him as our manager.  
Marlon Byrd was a great free agent signing by Jim Hendry.  He played well last season, but will probably need a few extra days off as the season progresses this year.  A person’s body can take only so much punishment.  Byrd is a beast and seems to be a great teammate.  
I like Tyler Colvin getting some action at firstbase this spring.  I would prefer him in RF over Fukudome, but as long as he’s getting consistent playing time at 1B and RF I can live with that for now.  
Here’s to a healthy season!  GO CUBS GO!