Cubs Suffer Simultaneous Rotation Injuries

There is no use denying that as a Mariner fan I took great delight in the happenings surrounding Carlos Silva this spring. There are few players that I have rooted harder against than he, and to see his self-appraisal turn out to be delusional gave me joy at a time when Spring Training was wearing thin. With the season beginning, I was prepared to toss Silva out of mind and get on with following the many interesting stories cropping up from those that play Major League baseball.

That is, until this morning when I was greeted with the following two notices in rapid succession.

Yes, it appears that both Andrew Cashner and Randy Wells are headed to the disabled list in Chicago. Not one week into the season and the Cubs now need to replace two of their starting pitchers. If Carlos Silva had been just slightly less of a egotistical me-first prima donna, he would likely be filling one of those holes and have a chance to prove his worth to either the Cubs or other teams in the league. Instead, he is wherever he is. Enjoying his paid year probably, but a baseball leper nonetheless for the time being.

The question concerning Cubs fans is how serious these injuries are and who does enter the voids left by Cashner and Wells. The answer to the former appears to be not traumatic in the long run. Cashner has been diagnosed with a mild rotator cuff strain and will get two weeks of rest before a re-evaluation. The Cubs are likely to be overly cautious with Cashner and that could prolong his stay on the disabled list past what is normal for his injury.

Wells’ injury is reportedly a strain to his forearm which is much better news than it being in the elbow or shoulder. Nothing further is known at the moment, but forearm injuries are rarely season-threatening for pitchers. But they can linger and might take Wells off the team for a month or so.

Casey Coleman is almost surely getting one of the call ups, and the other might be a more fluctuating assignment given to whomever is best fit when the team has a need for a fifth starter. Chicago has the next three Thursdays off from baseball so some juggling of the rotation around those days can help lessen the burden on the newer new guy. Of course, with all the roster movement on going in the early weeks, the chances are also there for the Cubs to pick up someone off waivers or who was recently released. I heard Jarrod Washburn is still looking for a job. Either way, it’s a tough blow for Chicago especially so close together and so soon into the season.

Matthew Carruth is a software engineer who has been fascinated with baseball statistics since age five. When not dissecting baseball, he is watching hockey or playing soccer.

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Luke in MN
13 years ago

I understand the Mariners hating on Silva, but I don’t get why the Cubs dropped him. He was a good starting pitcher by any measure in over 100 innings last year. I don’t think there are too many people who fit that description who can’t land an MLB job.

13 years ago
Reply to  Luke in MN

The Cubs tried to stash Carlos Silva in the minors just in case of a situation exactly like this but of course Silva would have none of that.

Here’s Silva’s words on going to the minors: “No chance,” Silva said. “That’s not on my mind right now, not at all. I’m not an insurance player. My guess is that’s what they want.”

In that case, he might end up going the way of Jermaine Dye and eventually retire. No one is going to pick up Silva for anything other than insurance.

13 years ago
Reply to  ThundaPC

Given the performance last year, I can’t say I blame Silva for taking that position.

After a good year at our work, how many of us would gladly accept a position that is widely viewed as “a bad demotion” so someone else can do the job that you did well last year?

I’m guessing most of us would make some type of comments that’s involved kissing and something about private parts, or shoving a head somewhere, or something that wouldn’t come across as very friendly … perhaps even arrogant.

Putting it another way, he was almost as valuable as Zambrano last year … and they want him to take a spot in the minors.

[1] I don;t blame the Cubs, I’d want to have him in 3A as well.

But …

[2] I also don’t blame Silva for thinking that being in 3A would be a demotion, a bad career move, and all risk no reward, etc.

13 years ago
Reply to  ThundaPC

“After a good year at our work, how many of us would gladly accept a position that is widely viewed as “a bad demotion” so someone else can do the job that you did well last year?”

If I had made tens of millions of dollars in my career and I was on a guaranteed contract and my boss was required to still pay me the same amount? Well, I for one would gladly take a demotion with less responsibility and less stress.

13 years ago
Reply to  Luke in MN

I don’t think the issue is that Silva was good for 100 innings last year (with “good” meaning “average”). It’s that those 100 innings were the only time he has been good since 2007.

Luke in MN
13 years ago
Reply to  Jamie

Well, so what if he sucked in 2008 and 2009? If he was good enough to play in 2010, he’s a far better bet in 2011 after proving he can still be a good pitcher.

And you’re right that his ERA was just average (4.22), but FIP and xFIP of 3.75.