Monday, May 15, 2006

Historical Loss Leads to Inevitable Question

That question would be....why is Carlos Silva in the rotation? Or, why, for that matter, was he left in to away a lead and give Mark Buerhle the kind of victory that has happened only one other time, in 1900? (That is, a starting pitcher getting a win after allowing seven runs in the first inning.) Let's throw a few stats out here to create the picture, shall we?

* Silva is allowing a .363/.412/.715 line for opposing hitters this year. To put it mildly, only three players in all of baseball (Albert Pujols, Jim Thome, and Jason Giambi) have a higher OPS than Silva is allowing to opposing hitters collectively.

* Silva has allowed 15 home runs in 46 innings. If he were to throw 188 and 1/3 innings like he did last year, that would put him on pace to allow about 61 homers. Last year he allowed 25. The major league record for home runs allowed in a season is 50, set by Mr. Bert Blyleven. Silva is starting to look an awful lot like the guy the Twins traded to the Phillies to get him a few years back...

* Silva's 8.80 ERA, which is nearly one run higher than the second-worst starter in baseball currently, Josh Towers, is nearly double his worst ERA in his career (4.43). Something is clearly wrong and it doesn't appears to be getting fixed.

In fact, its unlikely anything will happen to change this trend. No doubt the fact that Silva's past gives no precedent his awful performance so far is what has caused the Twins to be so hesitant to make a move with him. However, at this point, it is clear that Silva needs to be banished from the rotation. He has allowed 5+ runs in every single start he's made this year except for a home start against Kansas City. If the Twins are going to keep him on the roster for the time being, which they almost surely will, he should be moved to the bullpen. As a reliever in Philadelphia, Silva had a 3.83 ERA over two years and allowed only 11 HRs in 171.1 innings. Whether it's a relocation to the bullpen, a trip to the minors, or a trade/release (highly unlikely), something must happen with Silva. He cannot be allowed to make another start. If the Twins do that, they might as well use the dagger they couldn't put through the heart of the White Sox to stab themselves. He cannot get it done and at this point, and leaving Francisco Liriano in the bullpen while the rotation continues to struggle so mightily seems insane and just idiotic. Silva has to go.

I'd love to say some negatives things about the offense, but you just can't really blame them for the loss. Sure, they were fairly inept after their seven-run first inning and even managed to hit into a triple-play in the sixth, but they cannot be blamed for this loss. It's all Silva. The Twins defense did make a few errors which made things harder on Carlos, but several great defensive plays also helped him from taking further damage.

As Jim Souhan notes in today's Star Tribune:

If the Twins hope to contend, or even crest .500, they'll need better starting pitching. Johan Santana and Liriano starting 40 percent of your games could solve a lot of problems, and putting Silva in the bullpen could ease the pressure on a pitcher who admits he feels wracked with guilt.
It's unfortunate that the Twins lost a game they easily could have won last night, but if it serves the larger purpose of getting Silva removed from the rotation, then perhaps it will be for the best in the long run.

8 comments:

Dan said...

Right now the Brewers are praying that Silva gets another start, as they surely are licking their chops and looking ahead to raising their statistics in all offensive catagories against the Twins batting practice tossers.

More importantly than Silva being removed from the rotation, Liriano needs in, and needs in now. Unfortenatley the Twins right now have 1 1/2 pitchers, (Santana counting as 1 and Baker as the half so far) Thats out of five slots. So I guess Silva leads the way now with his 3.2 IP last night. And your right, it's not the offense's fault anymore. You can't expect them to hit doubles with runners on and two outs every single inning. What is this, the pitchers getting back at the offense from last year. Well, they are more than making up for it by getting rocked day in and day out every time someone other than Santana takes the hill. You would think Santana's performances would make the others more hungry, apparently thats not a concept that weaves through.

The bullpen for these guys is not an option either, because they would just be taking up roster spots. Silva nees to go to AAA and work some things out.

The perfect situation for Radke would be for him to accept a trade to a legitimate and bonifide contender, get a younger arm and stick in. Radke can make his final year playoff push, and when his season ends, that team can sell the contract back to the Twins(one of those Jerry Rice deals) and he can still retire as a Twin.(in my dreams)

The offense is finding some stability, and im still for making some modifications for immediate improvement(or status quo) and future concerns. But right now the pitching pretty much needs to be overhauled. Its the middle of May, the weather is not cold anymore, the WBC is well behind, and other teams have already taken action with their lousy pitchers weeks ago. How can you go from being one of the best staffs in the league to being laughably bad? I cannot wrap my mind around that.

Atleast the bullpen is coming around, and their arms should be ok even with Silva going 3.2. I think if Lohse and Silva keep pitching, they need to be pulled after 3 or at most, 4 innings no matter what the score is. This can assure Nathan getting some more action, as well as Reyes and the others who are just sitting in the pen, and call up a couple of young arms that can do some long releiving.

Nick M. said...

Yeah well everyone is. Anytime a pitcher gives up a line the equivalent of a Lou Gehrig season in his prime, everyone is excited. Its so bad right now. And you make one great point there: All the other teams with awful starters are replacing them. We should too.

dan said...

He's in. ESPN.com just broke news that Liriano is throwing Friday night in Milwaukee. Silva to the pen, but just temporarily(yeah right), unless Lohse gets bombed worse.

One step in the right direction, just a few more to go!

Jeff A said...

If Liriano is in and Silva out, it is a step in the right direction. Let's not put too much pressure on Liriano--he will probably be up and down, the way most rookie starters are. That, however, would be a significant improvement over Silva, who, except for one start, has been down all year.

I love Silva, and I hope he gets straightened out, but so far all he's done is throw batting practice. Almost anyone they use has to be better.

Nick N. said...

I'll be in Milwaukee on Friday night to see Liriano's first start. Should be exciting.

Another abysmal effort for the Twins today, as they lost their second straight and ended up with a disappointing series split against the Sox. Heading back into Detroit for a three-game series, things could go south quickly.

Anonymous said...

Things can get better quickly too.

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