The Cubs' Carlos Silva is good? The White Sox's Jake Peavy is bad? This has got to be an April Fools' prank

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silva-carlos-100401.jpgThere is something odd going on with the Chicago sports scene.

No, Jay Cutler has not acquired the, umm, intestinal fortitude necessary to play quarterback. That would be too unbelievable to entertain even on April Fools’ Day. But what is happening is so puzzling it makes you rethink everything you know about baseball. Yes, as shocking as it seems, Cubs pitcher Carlos Silva appears to actually be good.

Before you rush to your calendar to see if it’s already 2012, consider that it is quite likely that Silva will not continue to be good for long. As he heads north to Wrigley Field and the games begin to count in the standings, there is a fair chance the Earth will return to its normal axis and Silva will go back to allowing nearly two base-runners per inning. Many of these base-runners will dance around the bases to score runs. This will also cause Cubs fans to logically heap blame on a goat, and possibly, Milton Bradley.

But for now, Milton Bradley and goats everywhere can rest easy, for after compiling a 1.40 ERA in his last five spring training starts, Carlos Silva is good. In fact, he tells the Chicago Tribune that he always believed he was good.

“I’m not going to say I’m surprised, because that’s what I’m working for,” Silva said. “I’ve been taking this spring very, very seriously.”

It’s nice that Silva is taking his job so seriously this spring. And I’m sure the Seattle Mariners are thrilled to hear it, because the non-serious, always-clowning-around Silva went 5-18 for them – in a pitcher’s park.

In related Chicago bizarreness, White Sox pitcher Jake Peavy continues to struggle, striking out seven but allowing three runs in four innings against a minor league team. He entered the day 2-1 with a 6.55 ERA in Cactus League play.

The reaction to Peavy’s spring results has manager Ozzie Guillen predictably testy:

“A lot of people are talking (bleep) on TV and radio (about Peavy),” Guillen said. “All of a sudden, when you have a microphone in your hands you think you know (a lot) about baseball.”

I hear you, Ozzie. And if Carlos Silva is going to be good, and Jake Peavy bad, I don’t know what to think of baseball anymore.

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Jonny Venters is still pitching

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Lefty reliever Jonny Venters was among a handful of players the Rays signed to minor league contracts, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.

Venters, 32, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2012 and has logged just 27 2/3 innings in the minors in the meantime due to a continuous battle with his elbow. According to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Venters has undergone four — four! — Tommy John surgeries.

When he was healthy, Venters was a fearsome late-game option for the Braves. He posted a 1.95 ERA with 93 strikeouts in 83 innings in 2010, and a 1.84 ERA with 96 strikeouts in 88 innings in 2011. His first-half performance in 2011 earned him a spot on the National League All-Star roster.

Venters has spent the last two years in the Rays’ system and he’ll try to make it a third.