In an effort to get Carlos Silva's sinker down and his confidence up, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire has decided to move the struggling starter to the bullpen. Francisco Liriano will start in Silva's spot at Milwaukee on Friday.Okay, yeah, Silva needs to do something. And maybe the extra work he can get from the bullpen will be just the thing. That said, he's not the first starter I would have pulled from the rotation...
Gardenhire and pitching coach Rick Anderson discussed the move Sunday night, after Silva was knocked out after 3 1/3 innings, and again Monday morning. Silva was informed of their decision prior to Monday's game.Personally, I'm starting to think that all these "mechanical problems" he's having go back to that knee injury. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I do believe he injured it coming down onto that leg while delivering a pitch. And if he's (consciously or otherwise) worried about a repeat injury, then his attention at that moment of release is going to be on his leg, not on the ball. Release just a hair early and--ta-da!--a pitch up in the zone.
The move is not permanent, Gardenhire stressed, but necessary.
It will also give Silva more time to work on the side with Anderson. Gardenhire stressed that he expects Silva to rebound and rejoin the starting staff.
"He is one of our starters," Gardenhire said. "He's got to be one of our starters for us to be successful. So the first thing you have to work on is getting the confidence back. Right now his confidence is shot. He's a little lost. We're going to do that, get him some good outings out of the bullpen and try to get his confidence back up and get back into the rotation. Because he will go back into the rotation as soon as he finds his confidence and starts getting his sinker going. That shouldn't take very long."
Anderson said a flaw has been identified in his mechanics. Now it's a matter of working with him to be more consistent. There is no specific timetable for Silva's return. Gardenhire and Anderson will play it by ear, hoping Silva regains his form sooner than later. He said Silva could be used in almost any situation out of the pen.
A guy who's delivered a sharp sinker as long and consistently as Silva doesn't lose it while healthy unless there's something significant going on. They can talk about "making adjustments" all they want, but if I'm right nothing's going to stick for long until Silva can work past the very natural desire not to be in horrible pain again.
I don't know. Maybe he should try pitching with a very light brace on that knee. Just one of those elastic tubes you can get at the drugstore, a little extra support for both the knee and his comfort level.