Silva not taking great outing for granted

Carlos Silva pitched four shutout innings against the Rangers on Tuesday. AP Photo/Paul Connors

Cubs starting pitcher Carlos Silva took one giant step toward claiming a rotation spot with four shutout innings against Texas on Tuesday.

Silva, who had been second-guessed by many observers for showing up to camp overweight, was not taking one good outing for granted.

“I don’t worry to make the rotation,” Silva said. “I’m very competitive; I want to make the rotation, because that’s what we’re working for. But the only thing I want to do, to be honest, is to help this team win.”

In Silva’s last two starts, he’s thrown seven innings combined, giving up no runs on six hits, walking two and striking out three.

“We have four guys fighting for two rotation spots,” Silva said. “For me, you can pick anybody.”

Silva, a veteran, knows that pitching well in March has very little to do with the regular season.

“For me, you can have a good spring training, and it doesn’t mean that you are going to have a good regular season,” Silva said.

Silva was a combined 5-18 with Seattle in 2008 and 2009. A right shoulder injury kept him from pitching most of last season. The right-hander was only able to make six starts for the Mariners in 2009. Silva was more excited about his mother receiving a 10-year visa permit from the U.S. Government on Tuesday than his four shutout innings vs. Texas. Silva is a native of Venezuela.

It was a good day all around for the Cubs as the team pitched well, led by Silva’s outing and is Esmailin Caridad’s two shutout innings after Silva pitched.

“He made it look really easy,” Cubs manager Lou Piniella said about Silva’s outing. “I like the way he pitched inside, I like the way he elevated the ball. Caridad 6 up and 6 down, [Marcos] Mateo, Jeff [Stevens], [James] Russell; [it] was one of the better pitched games in spring training on both sides.”

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