03/27/11 2:22 PM ET
Cubs cite performance in releasing Silva
By Carrie Muskat / MLB.com
The Cubs released Silva on Sunday, one day after the right-hander criticized the team for the way it handled him this spring.
"He wasn't good enough to make the team," Cubs general manager Jim Hendry said Sunday.
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Silva had a 10.90 ERA in five spring games, giving up 21 earned runs on 32 hits over 17 1/3 innings. Acquired from the Mariners in Dec. 2009 for Milton Bradley, Silva got off to an 8-0 start with the Cubs last season, but struggled through a 2-6, 6.15 ERA second half.
"We try to factor in not only Spring Training, but the second half of last year, and we're looking at a guy who had a 14-something ERA from July 11 on and came to camp with a notion that he already had a spot in the rotation," Hendry said.
The Cubs decided to insert Andrew Cashner into the rotation and considered Silva for a spot in the bullpen. But he had a terrible spring, with the exception of his last outing, when he gave up one run on three hits over six innings against the Athletics.
Rookie Marcos Mateo, who had a 1.29 ERA in seven games, was named to the bullpen.
"It became apparent at the end that, basically Mateo and Casey Coleman, either one deserved to be on the club much more than him," Hendry said. "Obviously, we're dealing with a man that at this particular point in his career is not willing to face the facts that what he's done the last years -- except for a two-month period -- is well below Major League standards.
"He seems to make a continual [habit] of blaming everybody but himself," Hendry said.
On Saturday, Silva said pitching coach Mark Riggins told the pitcher he was doing better, but might have to consider going to the Minor Leagues. Silva's response: "No chance." Silva, 31, also criticized Riggins for the way he gave him the news.
"His comments about Mark Riggins were totally inappropriate and unacceptable," Hendry said. "Once again, it's a weakness for somebody who doesn't perform well and chooses to blame somebody else."
The Cubs did tell Silva on Saturday they would try to trade him, but have received no interest from any clubs about the right-hander. The team was reportedly willing to pick up a bulk of Silva's salary; he's owed $11.5 million this season, which the Cubs will have to pay.
Cubs manager Mike Quade said he was irritated by Silva's comments, especially his criticism of the way Riggins handled things.
"If you're not willing to give [respect], you're not going to get it," Quade said, adding, "whether he was upset at Riggs or whatever, the one thing that everybody needs to know, this was my call. This wasn't Jim Hendry's. If you want to be irritated with somebody, this is on me."
Quade added, "I thought we treated the guy really well," Quade said. "I can look in the mirror all day long."
Hendry said he was surprised at Silva's comments to the media on Saturday. Silva said he did get a fair chance this spring, but thought the way he received the news wasn't "fair."
"Don't say people are competing for a spot, because it wasn't true," Silva said. "They already had their rotation done."
Silva had a brief scuffle in the dugout with teammate Aramis Ramirez in his first spring outing on March 2, after the team committed three errors in the first inning, but Hendry said that incident had nothing to do with the Cubs' decision.
Silva also said Saturday that Hendry gave him the impression that the Cubs don't feel as if he can pitch anymore.
"This morning, [Hendry] said, 'If you get traded and you pitch for another team and you do good, and then we're [in a tough spot],' Silva said. "If he said that, it's because he doesn't think I can pitch. It's tough for a [general manager] or anybody to say that. They're in a bad situation because they don't know. They say, 'We don't know what Cashner is going to do.'
"They can do whatever they think and whatever they want," he said. "It's very clear. If I get an opportunity for another team, they're going to be in a bad spot."
As far as the Cubs are concerned, it's time to move on.
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter@CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.