Cubs

Silva rocked in first start since dugout dispute

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Silva rocked in first start since dugout dispute

Monday, March 7, 2011
3:32 p.m. Updated 7:30 PM

By Patrick Mooney
CSNChicago.com

MESA, Ariz. Carlos Silva clapped his glove and pointed at Welington Castillo after his catcher threw out the runner at second base. This was the Cubs picking each other up, just like they talked about.

One inning later, it all unraveled.

Silva allowed seven consecutive Angels to reach base during Monday's 14-13 win. He drew mock cheers from the fans at HoHoKam Park once he finally got the first out of the third inning.

By then, you were lowering the odds on Andrew Cashner and Randy Wells making the rotation. This time Silva did not want to hear about how it might impact his chances.

You need a new question, Silva said, locking in on one reporter. Thats the only question you always ask.

The media actually had to wait nearly 48 hours before Silva finally agreed to talk about last weeks dugout confrontation with Aramis Ramirez.

Next question please, Silva said before muttering something under his breath.

That pressure to compete sparked last weeks dugout confrontation with Aramis Ramirez. Silva watched his teammates make three errors, told them to start making some plays and Ramirez took it personally. They had to be separated.

That meltdown led to a series of meetings, unwanted national attention and the first crisis of manager Mike Quades first full season on the job.After giving up eight runs on 10 hits in 2.1 innings on Monday, Silvas ERA is now 29.70 this spring.

Ultimately, Silva gets why hes being asked about his spot, but he doesnt appreciate it. In his mind, it started last spring training, if not from the moment he was acquired in the Milton Bradley deal.

I understand, Silva said. That was the main question every time I pitched well, when I pitched bad. When I pitched good, no one talked about it. Its the same question asked last year: Do you think this is going to affect you?

(I) cant think about it. If Im going to think that way it will put me down, too. Theyre going to make the decision and well see whats going to happen.

We live in a world of snap judgments and instant analysis, but publicly Quade is taking the long view.

Its about the body of work, Quade said. Hell be back and hell be better. Im convinced of that.

Silva made it unscathed through two scoreless innings before he lost control of his changeup. He couldnt blame this one on his defense. The Angels hit the ball hard, and all over the field. They knocked out eight hits during that sequence.

Silva insisted that he feels good, and wrote it off as bad luck and balls just finding holes.

The Cubs arent stretching out Cashner a 24-year-old former first-round pick just to abandon the plan come April. Wells who has accounted for 59 starts across the past two seasons has not allowed an earned run through his first five innings this spring.

At this point Quade hasnt planned how or exactly when he will announce the winners of the rotation auditions. The first round of roster cuts wont happen until around the March 16 off-day. The final decisions will be pushed toward the end of camp.

We dont know whats going to happen, Quade said. Heck, we could have three guys (get injured). I kind of hope for the best but anticipate the worst, so we need to keep everyone pitching and see how this plays out.

Silva has distanced himself from the idea that hes owed a job. He knows he needs to start showing some results.

If I focus on what happened Im going to get screwed, Silva said. Hopefully well forget about this one and keep working. Hopefully the next game it wont happen again.

PatrickMooney is CSNChicago.com's Cubs beat writer. FollowPatrick on Twitter @CSNMooneyfor up-to-the-minute Cubs news and views.

Cubs Talk Podcast: Is Kris Bryant the new Curt Flood?

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USA TODAY

Cubs Talk Podcast: Is Kris Bryant the new Curt Flood?

This has been the offseason of Kris Bryant rumors and with his grievance still unresolved Cubs fans can only speculate what will happen to the MVP. Is Kris Bryant trying to change the system like Curt Flood did? Host David Kaplan is joined by ESPN Chicago's Jesse Rogers to discuss Bryant's future as a Cub, and the lackluster offseason the Cubs have had.

(1:50) - Why the Cubs have not made any moves so far

(3:32) - Is Kris Bryant the new Curt Flood?

(6:26) - Cubs need upgrades, specifically in the bullpen

(9:10) - Will the Cubs make a big move before the season starts?

(11:30) - Does Javy Baez get the big extension?

(14:45) - Will the Cubs get to 86 wins this year?

Listen to the full episode in the embedded player below:

Cubs Talk Podcast

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Cubs close to deal with free agent outfielder Steven Souza, per report

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USA TODAY

Cubs close to deal with free agent outfielder Steven Souza, per report

The Cubs have made a roster move.

According to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, the Cubs are reportedly close to a deal with free agent outfielder Steven Souza.

Souza, 30, missed the 2019 season after suffering a torn left ACL and LCL at the end of spring training. He also missed a chunk of 2018, playing 72 games while hitting the injured list on multiple occasions.

Souza had a career year with the Rays in 2017, slashing .239/.351/.459 with 30 home runs, 78 RBIs and a 121 wRC+. Those figures were career-bests for Souza, minus his batting average. He sported a walk rate (13.6 percent) above league average (8.5) that season, though his strikeout rate (29 percent) was worse than the MLB average (23).

The signing of Souza likely rules out a return of fan favorite outfielder Nicholas Castellanos. The Cubs have been linked to Castellanos throughout the offseason, but since they're looking to stay under MLB’s luxury tax threshold, re-signing Castellanos would require some financial maneuvering.

Souza has spent most of his career in right field (3,608 career innings) but has minimal experience playing center (33 1/3) and left (20). He’s above average in right (career 6 Defensive Runs Saved) and posted a career best 7 DRS in 2017.

The Cubs have a five-time Gold Glove right fielder in Jason Heyward, so Souza will see time at all three outfield spots. Heyward moved to center full-time last season after the Cubs acquired Castellanos and has played center at times throughout his career.

Assuming he stays healthy, Souza is a low-risk, high-reward move for the Cubs. He’ll add power to the middle of the order and add a proven bat to an outfield with some question marks. Albert Almora Jr. and Ian Happ have each struggled offensively at times since 2018. Souza offers another bat in case those two slump again.