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Mariners nearing crossroads with Silva

Mariners nearing crossroads with Silva

SEATTLE -- The rope connecting Carlos Silva to the Mariners' starting rotation is getting shorter.

Manager Don Wakamatsu had a heart-to-heart talk with the veteran right-hander on Sunday and explained that unless Silva starts pitching better, his spot in the rotation would be in jeopardy.

"Everybody is talking about what do we do with Carlos Silva," Wakamatsu said. "The best thing for the organization and team is for him to pitch well. The second thing is what are our options? Those are the things I talked to him about."

Silva, who is in the second year of a four-year, $48 million contract, has a 1-2 record and 7.36 ERA in five starts. His next start is scheduled for Wednesday night against the Royals in Kansas City.

"His stuff is there, and that's what we talked about," Wakamatsu added. "I told him, 'We have trust in your stuff, or we wouldn't be giving you the opportunity to be out there.'

"At some point he's going to have to make some adjustments and be that guy, if not, we have to make adjustments. At this point going forward, is that rope shorter? Yeah. At some point, he's going to have to come out and give us a good outing."

There is a sense within the organization that Silva is so concerned with living up to the lucrative contract he received that he hasn't been able to handle the adversity associated with two wins in more than a year.

"For us to be in the playoffs, or to continue down this road to have a guy that's done it before, or at least has the ability to do it, the rest is up to him," Wakamatsu said. "He has some skeletons in the closet, obviously, with the failures he had here with the performance last year.

"You just keep hammering away, trying to build his confidence and say, 'It's up to you. And at what point is your confidence level going to match your stuff? Because the stuff is there."

And if the stuff and the confidence don't get in sync quickly, Silva might find himself as a long reliever.

Jim Street is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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