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Geoff Baker covers the Mariners for The Seattle Times. He provides daily coverage of the team throughout spring training, and during the season.

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February 13, 2009 9:11 AM

Slim Silva

Posted by Geoff Baker

moore.jpg

Don't forget the Geoff Baker Live! show, this afternoon at 4:30 p.m. Pacific time right here on the blog. I will answer all your questions about today's day of physicals for Mariners pitchers and catchers via live video hookup from Peoria.

No, that's not Carlos Silva in the photo, it's actually Adam Moore -- the Mariners' so-called catcher of the future. But Carlos Silva is indeed slimmer as advertised. He was the first guy I ran into here this morning, as pitchers and catchers take their physicals. Silva's is at noon Pacific time. He's no supermodel, but indeed does appear to have lost 30 pounds. He was tipping the scales at a whopping 285 pounds when last season ended and now says he's in the mid 250s.

"I feel great,'' he said. "It's easier to work out because I'm not as heavy as before.''

So, I guess I win the U.S.S. Mariner official poll as to who will be the first beat writer to write a weight loss story from camp. But seriously, this one is important. No one realizes more than Silva how much he let fans and the team down last season.

"They don't know anything about me,'' he said of the fans, and not in a bad way. "I didn't show much. Right now, physically I feel really good and now I've got to start building my arm and getting ready for the season.''

The secret to his weight loss, besides eating smaller portions of his usual foods?

Yoga.

Hear some Silva audio on that by clicking the link.

Silva took private yoga lessons three times per week at an hour each session.

"I can't do that,'' he said. "My wife, she does it easy, but for me...it's (hard).''

The workouts strengthened his core and improved his flexibility and balance.

Now, he says, he has to go out and pitch the way he can.

"I knew as soon as they signed me here that they had very big expectations,'' he said. "I didn't cover those expectations at all. But as soon as the season ended, I went back home and the only thing I had on my mind is what I've got to do.''

Silva only flew here from his native Venezuela yesterday. He and his wife put on an annual Christmas fundraiser for underprivileged children in that country. He was to get here earlier, but his son, almost 2, contracted infections in both ears and a doctor recommended he not fly. So, the Silvas cancelled their tickets and waited several more days before headed back to the U.S. (they reside in Minneapolis).

Last week, Silva launched the Venezuelan portion of his charitable foundation for needy children. He already runs one in the U.S. and last year started a Little League near his hometown of Puerto Ordac in Venezuela. So, now, he's got an official foundation there, too.

Yes, he's saying and doing all the right things. In fairness, he was doing the charity work well before he imploded in 2008. But he knows he's got a lot of PR rebuilding to do in Seattle. And the real repairs will start on the mound.

No, Ken Griffey Jr. hasn't signed with the Mariners yet.

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