Carlos Silva Has Been Surprisingly Good

Ron CoomerContributor IApril 18, 2010

PEORIA, AZ - MARCH 11:  Starting pitcher Carlos Silva #52 of the Chicago Cubs pitchers against the San Diego Padres during the MLB spring training game at Peoria Stadium on March 11, 2010 in Peoria, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Carlos Silva may look about as epically potbellied as a birthing whale on the mound, but in his two starts, he's actually looked good.

In 13 innings of work, Silva has posted a career-high strikeout rate (5.54 K/9). Again, it is only 13 innings of work, so this is an incredibly small sample size, and his strikeout rate will probably return to his career norm of 3.80 K/9.

His stuff, however, may very well become sustainable, thanks to his improved changeup. His straight change is posting a 4.7 run value, compared to last season's -4.7 wCH.

His peripherals are simply off the chart for his two starts. He is throwing first strikes 73.5 percent of the time (64.7 percent career). Batters are making contact 78.3 percent of the time (88.4 percent career).

Silva is pounding the zone with a 60.9 zone percentage, which is best in the majors.

Yes. I repeat. Best in the majors.

The real key to Silva's recent success is his ability to generate swings and misses. His 11.1 swinging strike percentage is more than twice his career high as a starter, and for comparison's sake, it's exactly Tim Lincecum's career average.

Silva's stuff has without a doubt improved, but his peripheral numbers are sure to regress to the norm, although he is showing that the Milton Bradley trade was surprisingly one-sided at this point.