Well, MLB Trade Rumors reports that Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated tweeted that Silva has now found a new home with the New York Yankees who signed Silva to a minor league deal with an in-season opt-out.
Two things come to mind:
- 1) The state of Phil Hughes.
- 2) The risk that comes with picking up a player, like Silva who another team is willing to pay $11.5 million to basically get out.
The second situation is very low risk because GM Brian Cashman is not dumb enough to pay any kind of real money for a pitcher with Silva’s reputation, as the Cubs will still be writing the checks. Also, a minor league deal doesn’t hog a roster spot and if Silva cops any attitude about the situation he is free to leave.
What does this mean for Hughes?
Well, Hughes went from bad to worse in his second start against the Red Sox. Hughes’ velocity is way down making his fastball very hittable. Unfortunately, the worst scenario seems to be coming true as Hughes looks to be suffering from a dead arm.
A drop in velocity is not uncommon in young pitchers following their first or second full seasons.
One theory blames the change in habits or practice. Going from a program based on building arm strength by incorporating a long-toss program to the demands of a major league workload can be too much for some young arms. In the bigs they need to rest their arms in between starts and should be on limited throwing programs in the off-season.
Hughes threw a ton this off-season; basically missed a season when he was in the bullpen back in 2009 and at the end of 2010 you could see Hughes was struggling.
Giving up five earned runs in the second inning against the Boston Red Sox, Hughes became way to risky to leave in the game a minute longer. I didn’t see him throw one curveball and his change-up was a mess. Throwing an 88 mph fastball/cutter, with no command and no secondary pitches is not enough to be effective.
A lot of the time this could be related to injury, but nothing has been said of Hughes complaining of any pain.
Well, my guess is Hughes will get 2-3 more starts and if things don’t get better, sending him back down to the minors for a little while might not be a bad idea. The bullpen is stacked already and Hughes has shown that he can be an effective starter, so it is just a matter of fixing him.
So, Cashman is making a smart move for protection with no real risk.
The 31-year-old Silva went 10-6 over 21 starts, with a 4.22 ERA in 113 innings in 2010. Not great, but a better alternative to an almost guaranteed loss, while depleting the bullpen every fifth day.
Hopefully Hughes will find a way without focusing heavily on his velocity to be effective, but mentally this must suck. I hope Hughes knows that he is not totally at fault, as the coaching staff is just as much to blame here.
Next thing you know Pedro Martinez will be in pinstripes, just kidding eve though it is not that funny.
- Yankees Sign Carlos Silva (mlbtraderumors.com)
- Yankees Ink Carlos Silva to Minor League Deal (bleacherreport.com)
- Cano continues to hit his stride at Fenway Park (nypost.com)
- Yanks’ problems not as big as Boston’s (nypost.com)
- Yankees: Hughes, Feliciano (thebaseballblog10.wordpress.com)
- HBT: Yankees reportedly sign Carlos Silva (hardballtalk.nbcsports.com)
- “Yankees Sign Pitcher Carlos Silva to Minor League Deal to Add Even More Starting Depth” and related posts (nesn.com)
- Lackey, Hughes present many questions (mlb.mlb.com)