Sunday, July 27, 2008

Samardzija making his mark with the Cubs

Jeff Samardzija made his major league debut with the Cubs on July 25, and looked impressive in his time as a relief pitcher. Here's the article from the Chicago Tribune.

After popping eyes with his poise and radar-gun readings in his major league debut Friday, Jeff Samardzija may never see the minors again.

"If you see a young man throwing the ball like that, I don't think he'll be the guy leaving, I'll tell you that," manager Lou Piniella said Saturday. "If he continues to throw the ball [well], it's almost like trading for a reliever."

One reliever will have to be trimmed when closer Kerry Wood returns, probably late this week.

"We'll see how it unfolds and evaluate it," said GM Jim Hendry, who gave Samardzija $10 million over five years in 2006.

Does Hendry mind that Samardzija is in the bullpen and not starting?

"It doesn't matter," he said. "He has had a lot of starts this year. You get to August and September, you worry about winning games in the big leagues. It's certainly not going to hurt his arm. And there's only another month left of the minor league season."

Relieving is a new role for the former Notre Dame wide receiver, but he said his right arm felt good Saturday, one day after throwing two innings.

He could pitch again as soon as Sunday.

"It's not like when I'm starting, the next day you kind of want to [put on] a sling," he said. "I'm going to tell them I'm ready to go any time, I don't care whether it's sore or not."

Weis choice
Making an appearance at Wrigley Field was Charlie Weis, Samardzija's football coach at Notre Dame.

"Jeff called me Thursday night and I said, 'Look, I'm coming Saturday but don't get an inflated ego, it's not because of you,' " Weis said with a laugh.

Actually, Weis was at Wrigley to sing during the seventh-inning stretch and to have son Charlie throw out a ceremonial first pitch on his 15th birthday.

The coach's impression of the pitcher?

"You could see he was a little bit overpsyched, but I don't think that's going to be his issue," Weis said. "Pressure has never been an issue with this kid."


Anonymous said...


He was on campus a few weeks ago and we definitely had a moment as our eyes met and I rubbernecked it and almost drove into a stop sign.

- a loyal fangirl

Ben said...

his face graced the front cover of "The Nation's Paper", that's right USA Today. Albeit in the little tiny box in the corner but not bad for having only pitched one or two innings at the time.