I can’t think of a Chicago Cubs pitcher who has been more vocal about his desires for the upcoming season than young wide receiver Jeff Samardzija.

He’s already said unequivocally that he doesn’t want to be in the pen – a role he thrived in last year. And now he says he doesn’t want to start out at Iowa – instead saying he wants to “avoid the whole AAA stint.”

I guess getting a major league contract out of the draft emboldens you a bit.

More after the jump.

General manager Jim Hendry and assistant GM Randy Bush have indicated he might have to open the season at Triple-A Iowa to stretch out so he can eventually start.

“I plan to go into spring training in the best shape possible,” Samardzija said Friday during a conference call to announce the formation of a Notre Dame scholarship in the name of his late mother.

“I got word that I was going to get a shot [to start] in spring training. That’s all I need to know. There’s an open spot, and during spring training I’ll fight tooth and nail to earn it. chicagotribune.com.

I love the competitive fire, Jeff, but you gotta realize you’ve got several things working against you:

1.) Sean Marshall is the presumptive 5th starter right now.

2.) You’re competing with at least three other guys for just one spot (Marshall, Chad Gaudin, and Aaron Heilman), and they all have major league starting experience.

3.) You were freaking great out of the pen last year.



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