The supposed seven-man competition for two slots in the Red Sox rotation became a six-man battle with Carlos Silva's shoulder injury taking him out of the mix.
Sure, Carlos Silva's always been a long shot to make the Red Sox rotation. After all, he hasn't pitched in the majors since 2010, and his ERA from 2008 through '10 was (gulp) 5.82. Still, he was in camp and the situation's unsettled and he does have a history that includes some modest success against major-league hitters.
Well, now he's out of the running. WEEI.com's Alex Speier:
For the first time this spring, a candidate for the last two spots in the Red Sox rotation has been removed from consideration. Veteran right-hander Carlos Silva, who signed a minor league deal with the Sox this winter, has been shut down with shoulder inflammation that is serious enough to prevent him from being considered for the rotation with which the Sox will open the year.
With Silva out of the mix, the pitchers in camp who remain in the mix for one of the last two spots in the Sox rotation are Daniel Bard, Alfredo Aceves, Andrew Miller, Vicente Padilla, Felix Doubront and perhaps Aaron Cook, though Cook has been brought along on a slower schedule than his colleagues as a precaution in light of his shoulder injuries in recent years.
It's certainly odd for a team like the Red Sox to be auditioning
seven six candidates for two rotation spots in March, but that doesn't mean it can't work. I do think Bard's got an inside line if he's not needed in the bullpen, and Padilla's got the best track record among the other guys. But this situation is highly fluid, and we'll be tracking the battle for those two slots all month.