MESA, Ariz. – The Cubs wasted no time responding to Carlos Silva’s team-strafing comments to the media Saturday – announcing the $11.5-million pitcher’s unconditional release this morning.
Team officials say they were blindsided by comments ripping team brass, and pitching coach Mark Riggins, for misleading him about his status in the competition for a roster spot before telling him late Friday that hadn’t made the team.
``Obviously, we’re dealing with a man that at this particular point in his career is not willing to face the facts,’’ general manager Jim Hendry said, ``that what he’s done the last few years, except for a two-month period is well below major league standards and who seems to have the continual problem of blaming everybody but himself.’’
Silva, who showed up to spring training out of shape after being assigned an off-season conditioning plan, was one of the worst-performing pitchers in camp until his most recent start, Wednesday against Oakland. His ugly spring line also included a dugout dustup with teammate Aramis Ramirez after the first inning he pitched.
This after a second half last year in which he won just one game and pitched just 11 1/3 innings.
``Basically, he wasn’t good enough to make the team,’’ Hendry said. ``You factor in not only spring training, but you try to go back and factor in the second half last year, and you’re looking at a guy that had a 14-something ERA from July 11 on and that came to camp with the notion that he already had a spot in the rotation.’’
The Cubs planned to take the next several days to try to trade Silva, obviously prepared to eat the lion’s share of the $11.5-million remaining on his contract. Silva also was scheduled to pitch Monday.
All of that went by the wayside after the comments Saturday.
``I won’t tolerate it,’’ Hendry said.