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Sveum calls Jeff Samardzija “near lock” for rotation spot

Mar 18, 2012, 6:03 PM EDT

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Cubs manager Dale Sveum told Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune Sunday in camp that right-hander Jeff Samardzija is a “near lock” for a spot in the team’s regular-season starting rotation.

Samardzija finally found major league success last year in the Chicago bullpen, posting a 2.97 ERA and tallying 87 strikeouts in 88 innings of work. He was especially sharp after the All-Star break, and the Cubs’ decision-makers will hope that he can ride that momentum into positive results in his new gig.

Samardzija was drafted as a starter out of Notre Dame and served mostly as a starter in the minor leagues, so the transition isn’t going to be a complete adventure. But the 27-year-old former wide receiver has walked 100 batters in 169 2/3 career major-league innings, and it’s safe to wonder whether those control issues will haunt him.

For what it’s worth, Samardzija hasn’t walked a single batter this spring in three Cactus League starts.

  1. astrosfan75956 - Mar 18, 2012 at 6:14 PM

    Should have went to the NFL, he could have been a 1st or 2nd round selection.

    • Baseball Beer Burritos In That Order - Mar 18, 2012 at 6:28 PM

      Hmmm, why didn’t he play football?

      Baseball: Average Salary $3.31m, minimum salary $441k, average career 5.6 years, guaranteed contracts

      Football: Average Salary $1.9m, minimum salary $375k, average career 3.5 years, non-guaranteed contracts

      Yeah, that’s a real head-scratcher.

      • rooney24 - Mar 18, 2012 at 8:15 PM

        Plus, much lower chance of concussions and all the other long term medical issues that NFL players have later in life (with the lower life expectancy).

      • 18thstreet - Mar 19, 2012 at 10:44 AM

        Also, football sucks and baseball is awesome.

    • dexterismyhero - Mar 19, 2012 at 9:13 AM

      No wonder. It was an Astro’s fan who asked the question. Nice try though.

  2. storebrandcookies - Mar 18, 2012 at 8:48 PM

    Wow, just did a bit of research and this guy was an All-American receiver in 2005. Same year as Megatron!

    Note: I’m not trying to compare the two.

    • firstandonlywarning - Mar 18, 2012 at 11:23 PM

      He made Brady Quinn millions

    • 18thstreet - Mar 19, 2012 at 10:45 AM

      [Insert Darrin Erstad joke.]

  3. tmohr - Mar 18, 2012 at 10:46 PM

    Maybe he’ll be able to afford a better haircut on a starter’s salary.

  4. firstandonlywarning - Mar 18, 2012 at 11:25 PM

    9 K’s zero walks in 10 spring innings
    What control issues?

    You’re living in the past man

    Is what a Cubs fan would say

    • paperlions - Mar 19, 2012 at 7:59 AM

      No, Cubs fans expect it all to fall apart. Deep down, they will harbor hopes that this move works, but they fully expect it to blow up in their face.

      • wlschneider09 - Mar 19, 2012 at 11:30 AM

        This.

    • purnellmeagrejr - Mar 19, 2012 at 8:01 AM

      Why would a Cubs fan live in the past? Masochism?

  5. dexterismyhero - Mar 19, 2012 at 9:14 AM

    Stevie Goodman would be flabbergasted!!!!!

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