Thursday, November 02, 2006

Twins Carlos Silva Makes Chump Out of Terry Ryan

Twins GM Terry Ryan has had his successes, his failures, his ups, his downs; and while perhaps not the greatest small-market general manager in baseball, he has been respected as at least being as good as the next guy. But picking up a $4.33 million 2007 contract option on 27-year-old hurler Carlos Silva elevates Ryan to something like world class chump. Not only did Silva test the patience of his teamates and coaches by taking himself out of key games over the course of the year -- most notably for a tummy ache in a resulting loss to Tampa Bay -- he pitched so badly that at one point he was demoted to the bullpen. Silva's near 6.00 ERA and 15 losses were among the worst in the majors, and he led all big league pitchers by surrendering 38 homers. The one bright spot was Silva's 3.34 ERA and 3-2 record over his last six starts, but even with him potentially rediscovering himself, the Twins rotation's outlook is dubious. With Francisco Liriano in all probability missing next season due to Tommy John surgery and Brad Radke retiring, a staff that once featured Johan Santana, Liriano, Radke and Kyle Lohse now looks like this: Santana, Silva, and youngsters Boof Bonser, Matt Garza and Scott Baker. Pressure is mounting for rookie lefty Glen Perkins, with his 1.59 ERA in limited appearances, to compete for a starting role. But with Ryan's propensity for refusing to challenge youths, don't expect Perkins to do much before the middle of next season at the earliest.