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Tuesday, September 21, 2021

John DeSilva showed he could pitch in the bigs; Did so over two seasons, six games

As September came around in 1998, The Montreal Gazette looked to who the Expos would call up. One player, it wrote, likely wouldn't be among them, despite solid contributions: John DeSilva.

DeSilva was almost 31, The Gazette noted.

"When you talk about prospects, you invariably think about the younger guys," Ottawa manager Pat Kelly told The Gazette. "But I'll tell you what DeSilva has done. He's shown he can pitch in the big leagues."

DeSilva didn't get the call that September, but he did previously make it. He'd seen the bigs over two  seasons - six outings in total - years earlier. He'd continue playing through 2004, but he wouldn't return to the majors.

DeSilva's career began in 1989, taken by the Tigers in the eighth round of the draft out of Brigham Young University.

DeSilva started with the Tigers at single-A Fayetteville and short-season Niagara Falls. He went 5-2 between them, with a 2.47 ERA.

He made high-A Lakeland and AA London in 1990, then AAA Toledo in 1991 and both London and Toledo again in 1992. 

In August 1993, he made the Tigers in Detroit. He got into one game, one inning and gave up one earned run.

He was then sent to the Dodgers to complete an earlier trade. He got into three games down the stretch. He gave up four earned runs in 5.1 innings. 

DeSilva played 1994 back in the minors. Traded to the Orioles for 1995, DeSilva got some attention as the delayed spring concluded.

"I pitched really well," DeSilva told The Baltimore Sun that June, "and I showed them I had a lot of poise. I think they want someone who is very aggressive."

DeSilva got two starts. He saw 8.2 innings and gave up seven earned runs to end his major league career.

DeSilva played the rest of 1995 at AAA Rochester, then the next with the Red Sox at AAA Pawtucket. He joined the Expos for 1998 and 1999 at AAA Ottawa.

DeSilva continued playing through 2004, playing his final three seasons in independent ball, his last at Long Island.

1990 Minor League Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:3,742
Made the Majors:1,268-33.9%-X
Never Made Majors:2,474-66.1%
5+ Seasons in the Majors:523
10+ Seasons in the Minors:310

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