Silva finds positives in subtle return

Silva finds positives in subtle return

SEATTLE -- The five batters right-hander Carlos Silva faced on Saturday night kept his adrenaline flow at a high level.

Although three of them reached base and one of them scored in the eighth inning of the Mariners' 10-1 loss to the Yankees, Silva viewed the outing as a step in the right direction.

"It felt really good to be back out there, very exciting," Silva said on Sunday. "It was just good to be back out there on the mound again."

He had been sidelined since May 9 with a right shoulder impingement. Originally placed on the 15-day disabled list, Silva was transferred to the 60-day DL on June 18.

"It was good to get him back out there," manager Don Wakamatsu said. "Here's a guy who has been on the shelf with an injury for most of the season and we needed to get him back. I thought his stuff was pretty good. He topped out at 94 [mph]."

Signed to a four-year contract by former Mariners general manager Bill Bavasi prior to last season, the Venezuela native is still trying to find the form that enabled him to go undefeated during his first month with Seattle.

A sinkerball specialist, Silva seemed to be tailor-made for Safeco Field and other natural-grass infields in the American League.

The deal hasn't exactly worked out the way either party envisioned, but with two years remaining on his contract and the Mariners showing signs of progress, Silva still could become an integral part of the starting rotation.

He will be used out of the bullpen for the remainder of the season and continue his comeback during the offseason playing for Caribes of the Venezuelan Winter League. He and the Mariners hope it can provide a jump-start to the 2010 season.

"He needs to prove to himself that he's healthy," pitching coach Rick Adair said. "It comes down to health. To me, that's going to be the biggest thing. He needs to go into next year knowing that there is nothing wrong with his shoulder."

Getting his confidence back is one thing. But developing another pitch is something else Silva thinks he needs.

"I will continue to work on the curveball I started throwing at Tacoma," he said of his rehab stint with the Triple-A club. "Even if I had the same stuff I had before, I know I needed to work on something else, an offspeed pitch.

"The hitters are really good in this league, and you have to change speeds more. The curve is coming along and that's one of the things I want to work on this winter."

The 30-year-old Silva, who has a 1-3 record and 8.59 ERA this season, has a 60-64 career record with a 4.72 ERA.

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