Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Cubs 5th Starter: Cashner vs Silva

The biggest decision left in spring is who will be the Cubs 5th starter? The contenders are Carlos Silva and Andrew Cashner. Reportedly, Well’s rotation spot was also in jeopardy. It would have been ridiculous if he was not starting, so I’m glad he has nailed that down. Maybe it was just something that was said that wasn’t really true. I believe Braden Looper is officially in contention, but let’s just ignore that and hope it goes away.

Carlos Silva has a history of being pretty bad, until early last year, when he was dominant for a while. The wheels fell off later in the season as he battled injuries. His struggles have continued this spring. Despite this, the Nationals and the Yankees reportedly have interest. He’s had most of his problems vs lefties, which he can be protected from in the bullpen.

Andrew Cashner didn’t have a great rookie season but he was just a rookie. It looks like he has great stuff including a fastball that can touch 100 mph. Side note, negating back to back 6 ER outings, his ERA was 2.88. He looked very good in triple-A last year. He has good strikeout stuff as evidenced by his 8.28K/9 innings.

It’s easily possible Silva would put together a better season as a starter, but I’m not sure how likely. It wouldn’t be by much, while Cashner has real break out potential. Silva is gone after this year, if not sooner, while Cashner could be around for a while. It’s much wiser to put Cashner into the role and use Silva where he’s needed. I believe Mike Quade is planning on going with Cashner. I hope he sticks to that plan. Trading Silva would be ideal if the Cubs can make that happen.

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