Minnesota Twins Opening Day Countdown: 52, Carlos Silva

ANAHEIM, CA - JULY 4: Carlos Silva
ANAHEIM, CA - JULY 4: Carlos Silva /

The Minnesota Twins are just 52 days away from opening day in Baltimore. As we near that day, we will tap into Twins history related to each number!

The Minnesota Twins are preparing for a 2018 season with expectations after making the playoffs in 2017 as a Wild Card. We will have bring out numbers from team history that represent the number of days until opening day on March 29th in Baltimore.

The Minnesota Twins have a long relationship with Venezuela, and that was evident when a player who had struggled elsewhere found a niche pitching alongside his countryman. For 52, we remember #52 for the mid-2000s Twins, Carlos Silva.

Silva’s pre-Twins time

Silva was originally signed by the Phillies out of Venezuela and pushed up their system due to his quality control, tallying heavy inning loads right away at age 20.

He made his major league debut in 2002 with the Phillies, working as a reliever, though his lower velocity didn’t play tremendously well in that role. He was able to put up a 3.21 ERA in his first season in 84 relief innings. He threw 87 1/3 innings primarily in relief in 2003 for the Phillies.

After the 2003 season, the Twins acquired him along with Nick Punto in exchange for lefty Eric Milton.

Twins career

Silva immediately clicked with fellow Venezuelan Johan Santana, slotting into the rotation in 2004, and he threw 203 innings with a 4.21 ERA.

In 2005, Silva put up numbers that were simply eye-popping. He had some arm issues that cost him a handful of starts, making just 27 on the year, but in 188 1/3 innings, he walked just 9 hitters, posting a 3.44 ERA and 1.17 WHIP.

The arm issues began to catch up to Silva, and he struggled to get the same level of movement on his pitches, allowing 38 home runs in 2006 and seeing his ERA balloon to 5.94. He was able to pitch 202 innings in his final season with the Twins in 2007 with a 4.19 ERA.

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The Twins allowed Silva to leave via free agency after the 2007 season. He joined the Seattle Mariners, where he would pitch to a 6.81 ERA over 183 2/3 innings in two seasons.

The Mariners and Cubs swapped “bad contracts” at that point, with malcontent Milton Bradley heading to Seattle while Silva became a Cub. Silva was able to resurrect his ability with the Cubs, pitching to a 4.22 ERA over 113 innings.

In spite of that solid performance, Silva was unable to secure a major league contract for 2011, pitching in the Yankees system, but his shoulder was simply not healthy, and he couldn’t make it back to the major leagues.

Next: Who will be next in Twins team HOF?

As we get closer to opening day, we remember #52 by remembering the exceptional control of Carlos Silva.

We look forward to that first day of the season against Baltimore!