2010 Player Preivew: Jeff Samardzija
Yesterday, we talked about how Jim Hendry gives out big contracts. Well, today's subject is no different. Jeff Samardzija was given a huge deal out of Notre Dame to skip the NFL entirely. It was a great deal for Jeff. For the Cubs? Well, that verdict is still out.
Samardzija has been tossed around more than a toddler would a Raggedy-Anne doll. The Cubs don't seem to know what they want him to do. Starter-Reliever-Starter-Reliever-Starter-----no back to Reliever....you get the point. It really showed last year when "The Shark" was all out of whack. Samardzija threw 34 2/3 innings last year with a 7.53 ERA and a 1.76 WHIP, which was, well, terrible for any pitcher. Even more so for one being paid like a Major Leaguer.
Samardzija really hasn't pitched great at any level, expect two years ago with the Cubs. Most of that was probably because the hitters hadn't seen his stuff. He has struggled with his control, which will keep him from reaching his goals if he can't locate pitches.
This season the Cubs are going to let him battle for one of the two starting spots open with Ted Lilly still rehabbing his shoulder. He pitched the other day and threw two scoreless inning, but gave up a walk, a hit and hit somebody as well. I still think that Samardzija's best place will be in the pen, but he still has to learn control. WIth Guzman out of the picture now, it looks like he will at least break camp with the Cubs.