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Jeff Samardzija to be shut down after Saturday start

Sep 7, 2012, 5:51 PM EDT

Jeff Samardzija AP

The Cubs have seen enough from Jeff Samardzija to judge his 2012 a successful season, and manager Dale Sveum announced Friday that Samardzija’s 28th start Saturday against the Pirates would be his final outing of the year.

It is a precautionary move. Samardzija is currently at 165 2/3 innings this season after throwing 88 while working exclusively as a reliever last year.

While Samardzija possesses an 8-13 record, his ERA stands at 3.91 and he has a strong 171/55 K/BB ratio. He’s finishing on a high note, too, as he’s allowed just five earned runs and posted a 25/3 K/BB ratio over 21 innings in his last three starts.

Replacing Samardzija in the rotation will be Jason Berken, who was claimed off waivers from the Orioles today. Berken was 5-6 with a 3.60 ERA in 26 starts for Triple-A Norfolk this season. He’s made 81 relief appearances but never started a game as a major leaguer.

The Cubs will apparently finish out the year with a rotation of Chris Volstad, Travis Wood, Jason Germano, Chris Rusin and Berken. Volstad, who is 2-10 and has been demoted to the minors twice, is the only holdover from the Opening Day rotation that also included Ryan Dempster, Matt Garza, Paul Maholm and Samardzija.

  1. natslady - Sep 7, 2012 at 5:53 PM

    Get Selig involved. They are not Trying.To.Win.Every.Game. Shutting a pitcher down, not injured, precautionary–what is the world coming to?

    • sneschalmers - Sep 7, 2012 at 7:18 PM

      A world where management observes that a pitcher has doubled his IP workload over the course of one year? A world where Kerry Wood and Mark Prior are remembered more for what they could have been than what they have actually accomplished?

    • raysfan1 - Sep 7, 2012 at 9:17 PM

      As stated by Calcaterra on the last Strasburg piece, McCaffrey’s suggestion to involve Selig in whether Strasburg pitches is idiocy even if one generally takes the position that the Nats are making the wrong decision.

    • natstowngreg - Sep 8, 2012 at 11:24 AM

      +1 and a free (sarcasm button) to natslady.

      The reasons are obvious. The Cubs are not competing and Jeff Samardzija is not a once-in-a-generation talent. But I’d also note that Samardzija pitched in 85 games last season. He’s been adjusting to a new role, not rehabbing from an injury. Different situation.

  2. recoveringcubsfan - Sep 7, 2012 at 6:03 PM

    Wait, what?

    How you gonna win the World Series by doing that, Cubbies? Huh? HUH???

    Where are the Phillies fans to tall the Cubs how dumb they are?

    Oh, this is not a Strasburg story so I guess this is OK. Protect the kid this year because his team is out of contention. But Strasburg? Ride him ’til his elbow explodes!

  3. cubfan531 - Sep 7, 2012 at 6:50 PM

    While nobody may want to remember them, Berken made 24 starts for the Orioles in 2009. Only three of them were quality starts. He failed to make it through five innings in seven of those starts, and gave up at least five runs in seven starts.

  4. natslady - Sep 7, 2012 at 8:27 PM

    Strasburg is out after three. No control over the fastball, couldn’t locate it, kept serving up HR balls. Typical post TJ inconsistency, bad start, good start, bad start. Let me say this right now: this is not the guy you want in the playoffs–the way he is now. Next year, yes.

    From Zuckerman:

    ER allowed by Strasburg last 11 starts: 0-4-1-6-0-1-2-1-5-0-5. Theme of 2nd half: Inconsistency. Trademark for guys back from TJ surgery.

  5. broncobrewer - Sep 7, 2012 at 11:51 PM

    If they are gonna shut him down around footballs first weekend. He should suit up for some NFL team and play wide receiver.

  6. akismet-e6748cca3a16ea6e8283008d25583adc - Sep 8, 2012 at 4:19 PM

    Wow! Samardzija shut down!? There’s no proof that shutting down a pitcher helps him!! Why is the team doing this!? Don’t they want to win! The fans should be indignant. There’s no way Samardzija will EVER re-sign with this horrible club!!

    Oh, wait. I forgot, this isn’t about Strasburg, its about a pitcher on a last place team. Gee, kinda sounds like Jordan Zimmermann last year for the same Nats, shutdown after the same injury/surgery that Strasburg had, at the same innings limit.

    God people are hypocrites.

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