Originally posted on Ted's Army  |  Last updated 2/23/12

 

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If Carlos Silva really wants to be the Red Sox' fifth starter, he might want to consider pulling a Tonya Harding on his knee. It was a knee injury, after all, that precipitated one of the most peculiarly noteworthy seasons in baseball history.

On the surface, Silva’s 2005 with the Twins merely seems solid. He was 9-8 with a 3.44 ERA in 27 starts covering 1881⁄3 innings.

Then a number jumps off the page so strongly it seems like a typo: nine walks.

“Wait, really?” closer Andrew Bailey said. “I’ve never heard of anything like that. As a pitcher, you strive to keep people off base. But nine walks in 188 innings? That’s pretty damn good.”

“That’s crazy,” Clay Buchholz added. “I’ve never even heard of anything like that. That’s insane, actually.”

And yet it’s true. Silva’s 0.43 walks per nine innings is the lowest figure in history for a pitcher with at least 30 innings pitched, let alone 188. It’s a record that could last forever.

As Silva attempts to emerge from a crowd to win a place at the back of the Red Sox rotation, one of the things he’ll undoubtedly have going for him is his command. And never was that more apparent than in 2005.

“That year was pretty amazing,” Silva recalled yesterday. “The beginning of the year, I hurt my knee and after one start, they told me I was going to lose the whole season. I had to get knee surgery. I told them I wanted to pitch through it.”.

Herald: Silva hopes to control destiny as #5 starter

So who's willing to take a tire iron to Silva's knee?! Nine walks in 188 IP on an injured knee? He's the anti-Daisuke! Granted, Silva did this back in 2005, but he's always been a solid control pitcher. John Tomase mentions later in the article that Silva has only walked 1.73 guys batter per nine innings which Tomase says is good for 21st all-time (Baseball Reference has him 42nd all-time but either way it's still pretty damn good).His other career stats would normally worry the hell out of me (like the 10.8 hits allowed per nine innings or the 4.68 ERA) but he's had on-again. off-again shoulder issues. Plus he's replacing John Lackey and no one can do worse then him at this point.

If he can keep that shoulder healthy, then he would be the fifth starter at the start of Opening Day. He's not going to blow by people (career K per nine inning is 4.0) but if he can go seven innings and not implode in any of them, then that's a win.

If he does that then there will be a bit of a dilemma in the middle of the season as Matsuzaka-san is hoping to return earlier then the June-July range that was originally estimated. There's no chance they would give up on the Daniel Bard experiment so soon even if he is performing poorly so Silva would be the odd man out. That's the best case scenario. Worst case, he has Sox fans pining for Matsuzaka to pitch, something that hasn't happened since everyone wanted to see the mythical gyroball. Doesn't sound THAT bad, right?

Rest of the Links: Globe: Valentine with no plans to name Captain| Iglesias makes impression on Valentine | Ortiz talks about clubhouse situation of 2011|Herald:  Valentine's videos valuable | Leadership prime need for Sox | Ortiz puts on happy face | Tough call on Ellsbury | CSNNE:Ortiz: "We have a lot of leaders" |  Pedroia not thinking about captaincy | Tito: Manny worst human being I ever met | WEEI: Andrew Bailey: The anti-Pap | Time for Crawford to produce | Ramirez remark blowing off steam

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