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What To Do With Samardzija?

By bullpenbrian - April 6, 2011 - 12:01 am 3 comments.

It’s becoming more clear Jeff Samardzija is on the Cubs roster because he’s out of minor league options.

I figure that doesn’t come as a surprise to most Cubs fans who have watched Samardzija pitch for any length of time, including his 2.0 IP and 9.00 ERA in 2011.

I have my doubts Jeff will last through May, let alone April, on the Cubs roster. His inability to improve has me leaning towards trading the young right-hander. Maybe it’s not too late to get something good in return?


Jeff Samardzija Update

By bullpenbrian - September 14, 2010 - 12:01 am Leave a comment.

Decent outing by Jeff Samardizija Monday night.
5.2 innings, no runs, six hits, four walks and one strikeout.
Good enough to pace the Cubs in a 5-1 win against a division rival.

Samardzija appeared more in control of his pitches with the new delivery.
He battled Pujols and Holiday well, too.
Made tough pitches, made smart pitches.

It’s been a long road back for Jeff.
Hasn’t made an appearance since April 19.
But tonight earned himself another turn in the rotation.

I’ve been tough on Samardzija since last year.
The guy wouldn’t throw strikes and couldn’t control his breaking pitches.
But credit to him for making the adjustments, keeping his trap shut and waiting for his next opportunity.

Samardizija, however, isn’t in the clear just yet.
He’s yet to show improvement consistently at the big league level.
The overall numbers are not good, but his outing Monday showed promise.

Samardzija with Triple-A Iowa:
15 starts, (11-3) with a 4.37 ERA.
111.1 innings pitched, 86 hits, 9 HR and 102 Ks vs. 67 walks.

Samardzija with 2010 Cubs:
5 games, 1 start (1-1) with a 7.00 ERA
9.0 innings pitched, 11 hits, 1 HR and 2 Ks vs. 10 walks.


Lilly Up, Samardzija Down

By bullpenbrian - April 25, 2010 - 12:15 am Leave a comment.

Look at the numbers Ted Lilly’s put up in his last three starts against Milwaukee…a club that feasts on NL pitching.

3-0 record…24.1 innings pitched…6 earned runs…21 Ks…and just 4 walks. Outstanding!

Again, is there any question who the staff ace is? HELLO…it’s Teddy, people!


Jeff Samardzija has major league stuff…but he won’t throw strikes.

Doesn’t matter if you’re starting or relieving…you can’t pitch behind in the count successfully…Samardzija himself being the latest example.

Of course is doesn’t help the Cubs keep bouncing him between starter and reliever roles…but he’s pro…and pros should know to throw strikes with consistency.

Why does it take a demotion to drive the point home? And why is this message so hard for him to receive?



Cubs HRs, Byrd & Samardzija

By bullpenbrian - April 16, 2010 - 12:05 am Leave a comment.

The Cubs appear to have turned the corner offensively.

They plated 22 runs in three game against Milwaukee after totaling 18 runs during the opening six-game road trip.

Scoring via the home run remains the same. Nine different Cubs have gone yard totaling 15 HR through nine games…now that’s digging the long ball!

Of course, there’s still something to be said about ‘Get’em on, Get’em over, and Get’em in…especially against top of the rotation guys…but the Cubs’ lineup is built around power, not small ball.

I couldn’t care less how the runs cross the plate…long ball, wild pitch, whatever…just as long as they keep coming. And while the offense has come to life, the bullpen remains, well…scary to say the least.

So it’s score, score, score some more…the winning formula for a bullpen as poor as the Cubs’.


Jeff Samardzija’s Career In Jeopardy

By bullpenbrian - February 11, 2010 - 1:15 am Leave a comment.

During his live chat this week on ESPNChicago.com, Bruce Levine confirmed what I’ve been saying for a long time.

-Many in the organization, including Samardzija, feel his progress has been hurt from going from the pen to the rotation.

I dedicated an entire post in August to this very topic. My point being the Cubs were jeopardizing Samardzija’s confidence at the Major League level by bouncing him between Triple-A and Chicago as a reliever.

Disrupting confidence is a career-threatening move for any young pitcher, and Samardzija is no exception.

You can read my post from August here.


A Clear View Of Samardzija

By bullpenbrian - October 2, 2009 - 12:01 am Leave a comment.


Three layers and winter gloves was no match for the bitter cold rain at Wrigley Thursday night.

Although, somehow I managed to be the last man standing on the rooftop at the Skybox on Sheffield.

For that achievement I won a covered seat on the lower deck after the second inning.

Nothing like having a clear view of Jeff Samardzija getting pounded by the Buccos!

I’ve said all year Samardzija isn’t big league ready.


Don’t Rush Samardzija!

By bullpenbrian - August 13, 2009 - 2:45 am Leave a comment.


The Cubs better be careful with Jeff Samardzija.

It doesn’t take long for major league hitters to ruin a young pitcher’s confidence.

At some point, of course, you have to get Jeff’s feet wet as a starter, but as I’ve said all season long, this kid isn’t big league ready yet–as a starter or reliever.

That’s not Samardzija’s fault, either–he’s just 23-years-old.  And so what if he needs another year of minor league seasoning under his belt.

The Cubs, however, don’t seem as patient. They’ve continuously bounced Samardzija between Triple-A and the major leagues.

I think it’s a noticeable disservice to the young man, especially rushing the guy to The Show as a reliever when you want him to start?


Four Plugs Two Holes

By bullpenbrian - April 2, 2009 - 1:18 am 2 comments.

The Cubs have four pitchers competing for the final two bullpen spots.

  • Chad Gaudin
  • Jeff Samardzija
  • Angel Guzman
  • Rule 5 Draft pick David Patton

Here’s how I see it going down:


Sam Is A Starter

By bullpenbrian - February 26, 2009 - 12:05 am 2 comments.

I’ve been in favor of making Samardzija the No. 5 ever since Jason Marquis was part of the Cubs’ rotation.

However, the last thing I want to see is Samardzija transitioning from the bullpen to the rotation mid-season: think Joba Chamberlain.

There’s simply no need to delay big Sam from the inevitable: the guy is going to be a starting pitcher.


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