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As things stand, Sean Marshall and Aaron Heilman have the inside track on the fifth starter spot for the Chicago Cubs. They have, by far, pitched the best in Spring Training.

That’s not to take anything away from Jeff Samardzija, also shooting for the fifth starter spot. Marshall has simply been better.

But Samardzija isn’t taking it lying down.

”I’m not giving Marshall anything,” said Samardzija, who retired seven straight batters after allowing a two-out RBI single during three innings Monday. ”He’s too good a friend to do that. I’ll trip him up before we do that.” CHICAGO SUN-TIMES.

Competition, good.

Trip him up? Guh?

”I love Marsh, but there’s nothing better than good competition,” Samardzija said. ”All we can do is go tooth-and-nail at each other, and when the last day of spring training is over, we’ll shake hands and get ready for the real season.”

That’s more like it. Given that Samardzija can still freely be optioned to AAA Iowa where he can start, it seems even more likely that Samardzija will not be making the Cubs out of camp – unless it’s in the pen, and someone else is dumped/moved.

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