Seattle Mariners: Carlos Silva Impresses Again, Proves His Worth

Josh CorsonContributor IApril 29, 2008

A Mariners offseason acquisition had another strong start on Tuesday, helping lead the team to another victory.
No, not Erik Bedard.
Carlos Silva, whose signing received much criticism in the offseason, had another impressive outing on Tuesday, pitching into the eighth inning and allowing just two earned runs. The performance marked Silva’s fifth quality start in six total starts this season, trailing only Brandon Webb (6) in that category. He is also ninth in the league in total batters faced, providing relief for a young bullpen that collapsed in August of last season after being overworked.
Silva received a 4-year, $48 million dollar deal this offseason from a team that has been reluctant to spend money in free agency. So I wondered, how has Silva’s April compared to some of the other free agent pitchers that were on the market this winter? Let’s take a look, taking into account how each pitcher and his team have fared so far and the size of the deal:

-Andy Pettite, Yankees
The deal: 1 year, $16 million
The scoop: After starting the year on the DL, Pettite has had a solid, but not spectacular April, going 3-2 with a 3.23 ERA. During a three start winning streak from April 10-20, he pitched 20.2 innings, giving up just four earned runs. He has allowed five runs twice, however, failing to get into the sixth inning in both. Despite this, he has been one of just two reliable starters in the Yankees rotation up to this point along with Chien Ming Wang.
The verdict: Close call, but advantage Silva

-Kenny Rogers, Tigers
The deal: 1 year, $8 million
The scoop: It looks as though time might finally be catching up to the 43-year old Rogers, as he struggled through April going 2-3 with a 6.75 ERA. True, he got a whopping 0 runs of support in his first three starts. But the crafty veteran has yet to make it to the end of the seventh inning in any of his six starts, and unable to get through five innings in three of them.
The verdict: Silva

-Tom Glavine, Braves
The deal: 1 year, $8 million
The scoop: The 42-year old Glavine’s much exalted return to Atlanta was put on hold for a couple weeks, after he exited the Braves April 13 game against the Nationals after just 16 pitches. The lefthander did allow just one earned run over 11.1 innings in his first two starts, receiving no decisions in both. Glavine returned to the Braves rotation on Tuesday, allowing two runs over six strong innings, again receiving a no decision.
The verdict: Push

-Randy Wolf, Padres
The deal: 1 year, $4.75 million
The scoop: After three great starts to begin the season (3 ER in 19 IP), Wolf has struggled through his last two (9 ER in 10.1 IP). Overall, he is 2-1 with a 3.68 ERA, and has provided a good lefty compliment to the Padres big three of Jake Peavy, Chris Young, and Greg Maddux.
The verdict: Because of the bargain, Wolf

-Livan Hernandez, Twins
The deal: 1 year, $5 million
The scoop: Hernandez started the year on a high note, winning his first three starts by allowing just six earned runs over 21 innings. It has only gotten worse from there, though, capped by a seven run, 2.1 inning performance against the Rangers on April 27. Hernandez currently sits at 3-1 with a 5.05 ERA.
The verdict: Silva

-Jason Jennings
The deal: 1 year, $4 million
The scoop: After a horrendous 2007 (2-9, 6.46), the Rangers brought in the native Texan, hoping to help a pitching staff that finished 24th in the league in ERA last season. It has been nothing short of a disaster, as Jennings has had just one quality start in six opportunities, going 0-4 with an 8.56 ERA over that span.
The verdict: Silva

-Kyle Lohse
The deal: 1 year, $4.25 million
The scoop: Lohse has been a pleasant surprise for a team that has also been surprising a lot of people. The Cardinals sit atop the NL Central, and Lohse is much of the reason why. Through six starts, Lohse is 3-0 with a 2.36 ERA, and has allowed over two runs in just one appearance. After being traded midseason the last two years, it looks as though the journeyman has found a home.
The verdict: Lohse

Overall verdict: Still out, but early signs point to this being a good deal for the Mariners. Silva had a very strong April, and there is no doubt that if he continues, the signing will be looked back upon as a smart one. The Mariners were able to lock up a 29-year old inning eater as a solid #3 starter, behind aces Erik Bedard and Felix Hernandez. This is nothing but good news for a team that has been cautious since the 2004-05 offseason signings of Adrian Beltre (5 years, $64 million) and Richie Sexson (4 years, $50 million). Perhaps it will help motivate a change in strategy from spending on big bats to spending on big arms.