It may be the first day of spring training, but Carlos Silva is oozing confidence about his place in the Cubs plans:
“For me, there’s only one spot open. I am one of the starters, you know what I mean? Whatever they think, they think that, not me.”
He did add that “if I have to win my spot, I’ll do it. I have no problem with that,” so it’s not like he’s suffering from some overactive sense of entitlement. And I suppose you’d have to at least pencil Silva in as the fifth starter right now. But really, Silva pitched over his head last year. Perhaps he just figured out what he’d been doing wrong for so long, but it’s also possible that he’ll be back to 2008-2009 levels — or even career averages — in 2011.
There are a number of fringe arms in Cubs camp who could conceivably profile as a fifth starter. Silva may simply be talking himself up, but really, he’s the Cubs pitcher who is least assured of a slot in the rotation right now, isn’t he?
Blue Jays third base prospect Vladimir Guerrero, Jr. has gotten a lot of press lately and for good reason. He has absolutely torched Double-A pitching so far this season, entering Sunday’s doubleheader batting .407/.456/.676 with seven home runs and 41 RBI in 170 plate appearances.
Guerrero stayed hot, going 4-for-4 in the first game of the doubleheader, ending it in the bottom of the seventh inning — doubleheaders in the minors can be two seven-inning affairs — with a two-run homer.
Guerrero started off the back end of the doubleheader with an RBI single in the first inning, so he’s overall 5-for-5 with four RBI on the day as of this writing. He also now has 21 multi-hit games out of 39 total games this season. Today’s performance marked his second four-hit game; his other one occurred last Wednesday.
MLB Pipeline ranks Guerrero as the No. 1 prospect in the Jays’ system and No. 2 overall in baseball behind the Braves’ Ronald Acuña. The Jays may be forced to summon Guerrero to the big leagues if he keeps hitting like this. In a similar situation, the Nationals promoted hot-hitting 19-year-old outfield prospect Juan Soto earlier today after just 35 plate appearances at Double-A, skipping Triple-A entirely.