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The Cubs welcome the Indians to Hohokam today, and it could be a big game for Jeff Samardzija. The rotation hopeful gets the start, and it comes on the very day the Cubs will be making final roster decisions. I’d like to think that Samardzija’s spot has already been decided, either in the rotation or the bullpen, but Dale Sveum says it isn’t true.

“Performance is everything,” Sveum said of Samardzija’s day. “We have decisions to make tonight and part of his performance today will have something to do with those decisions.”

Maybe it’s just something he’s saying. Maybe it’s true.

In any case, the game is at 3:05 CT, and audio is available via MLB.com.

The lineup:

1. Tony Campana, CF

2. Blake DeWitt, 2B

3. Starlin Castro, SS

4. Alfonso Soriano, LF

5. Ian Stewart, 3B

6. Geovany Soto, C

7. Bryan LaHair, 1B

8. Joe Mather, RF

9. Jeff Samardzija, P

  • http://Cubbie4life.weebly.com Tonycampanathebasethief

    If campy goes 3 for 3 with a couple of stolen bases….. Do u think he sticks with the team??

    • King Jeff

      If Campana (not Campy, who are you, Mike Quade?) goes 3 for 3, it will go against everything he has done at the plate so far this spring. I don’t see him making the team unless they make a surprise move, like releasing Blake DeWitt, or trading Marlon Byrd.

      • Joe

        I thought the speedster went 3 for 3 in his previous game. That’s not against *everything* he’s done, just everything in the first half+ of ST. :P

        Bummer, too, I love the guy. Would love him a helluva lot more if he’d just GET ON BASE dammit, dude!

        • King Jeff

          Be patient, even if he doesn’t make the team, chances are he will be back up before too long. I am also in no way a prognosticator, and as you see, I make conclusions on a player without even knowing if he played yesterday or not, so don’t take my word for it. That said, from when I have seen him, he’s looked a little overmatched at the plate. If he works on taking more pitches and improves his defensive positioning, he could be a valuable bench guy/spot starter. I just don’t see how he fits on the 25 man right now with Mather looking more and more like a lock every day.

          • Joe

            I agree, and I think that’s exactly how it’ll pan out. But man, if he’d had the offensive ST that Mather is having, can you imagine how crazy that would be? LOL

      • Jay Anderson Jr

        Campana better make this team. I could see Byrd trade and Campana starting in center.

        • TWC

          “Campana better make this team.”

          Or what?

          • Jay Anderson Jr

            You don’t waste that speed. I personally think Campana should be starting. I predict a .340 OBP from him. Not great, but with that speed, its worth.

            • Noah

              I’d be shocked if Campana was capable of putting up a .340 OBP in the majors this season. Pleasantly shocked, but shocked nonetheless.

            • Joe

              I love Campana, but frankly, he’s the one who’s wasting that speed. Until he can get on base at a +300 pace against ML pitching…

  • TWC

    FYI, Zambrano’s train wreck of a game (on right now) is really pretty entertaining.  Nice he’s someone else’s problem.  3 runs, 6 hits, 5 BBs, 1 WP, in the 4th inning.  Ugly.  And he’s all bent outta shape about it, too.

    • King Jeff

      That looks like typical Zambrano numbers. How many water coolers assaulted so far?

    • Joe

      Okay, now I’m conclusively glad he moved on. There was always a little glimmer of a whisp of a devil whispering in my ear, saying, “What if he returns to top form? What if he actually gets his sh*t together and competes? How you gonna feel when you hear about the Marlins’ Cy Young runner-up Carlos Zambrano???”

      Whew.

  • brittney

    Looks like a pretty regular line-up we could see this season.

    • Chaz

      Yeah if you take out a third of the lineup. Campana, Dewitt and Mather aren’t regulars and campana probably won’t even make the squad

      • Jay Anderson Jr

        If Mathers make this team over Campana, Id be pretty pissed

        • MaxM1908

          Sorry, Jay, but you had better prepare yourself for disappointment. This one is likely already in the books. If Mather stinks it up, you can always call up Campana later this summer. Plus, that gives him more time to develop in the minors. Nothing is really lost by not having him on the 25 man straight out of ST. On the other hand, if Mather has been unfairly overlooked and is primed for a breakout season, we would lose something by releasing him now.

        • daveyrosello

          Then get pissed, cuz it’s a done deal. Which, FWIW, I fully support.

        • http://www.casualcubsfan.com hansman1982

          Ya, those 15 stolen bases and crappy defense are the difference between the 2012 Cubs and the World Series!!!!!

          • ferrets_bueller

            seriously. Campana is not a very good baseball player.

  • TWC

    I know there’s a ton of bad blood between the Cubs and Astros broadcaster Milo Hamilton, but, man, he can call a helluva old school game.  He’s great.

    • daveyrosello

      With the possible exception of the Brennamans, Milo Hamilton is the most mean-spirited asshole in baseball broadcasting. I mean, he’s just nasty. Screw him.

      • TWC

        I don’t doubt you.  I don’t know anything about him, other than he & Harry had problems, but I don’t even know the extents of that.  He still calls a great game.

    • Bric

      One of the hidden luxeries of ST is getting to listen to games done by other teams’ broadcasters. Often entertaining and gives you an idea of what other teams’ guys think of and see in your teams’ players.

      • DocWimsey

        Actually, I try to make a habit of listening to the other team’s announcers once per series for just the reasons you mention. It’s funny how many misconceptions other teams have about Cubs players, and what misconceptions the Cubs announcers have about other teams’ players.

  • Fishin Phil
    • Joe

      Holy crap. Theo and Jed have brought the voodoo to Chicago, baby!!!!

  • Edwin

    If getting lit up means Jeff won’t make the starting rotation, I hope he gets crushed today. Putting Jeff Samardzija in the starting rotation over Randy Wells is one of the worst moves I’ve ever seen. This is worse than the Soriano in CF idea, or the Zambrano to the bullpen idea.

    • baseballet

      Actually I would think a move to the bullpen would be perfect for someone like Big Z at this stage in his career. While he doesn’t have the arm strength to be an ace starter anymore, I’d guess that he could still hit 95 mph a few times in an inning if he knew he only had to face a few batters. Maybe the right move for someone like Z at this stage would be to transition from a former ace into a star reliever. It worked for Smoltz.

    • Joe

      If this were going to be a competitive year, I’d say you have an argument. But it isn’t, so you don’t.

  • TWC

    Samardzija’s killin’ it today.  Nice triple.

    … and then Campana duffs the very fist pitch he saw and fails to do shit.  But at least he’s speedy, right?

    • TWC

      Wow, what pathetic execution by Campana/DeWitt/Castro.

      • djriz

        You better believe it.Castro has left about 12 men on base in the last three games. The kid is not mentally ready to hit 3rd.

        • SirCub

          If the dude hits .300 on the season, and you bat him third the entire season, his BA w/ RISP will be at least close to .300. And then he’ll get a bunch of RBI’s.

          • Joe

            Uh, not really. Statistics don’t work that way, or Ramirez would have been a ton more actually-clutch that last two or three yeas.

            • SirCub

              Ramirez hit .313 w/ RISP the last 3 years…

            • DocWimsey

              Sorry Joe, but probability *does* work that way. All batters hit their BA +/- binomial error in all situations. That is why a player’s over/under performance in “clutch” situations from one season never predict how his over/under the next season.

    • Jay Anderson Jr

      Wow. He has bad at bat. Garza has had a off spring also, let’s ship him to Iowa too.

      • TWC

        Campana is not very good at baseball.  Matt Garza is very good at baseball.  HTH.

        • Jay Anderson Jr

          Campana has had one year. If we based Garza’s career of one year, he would be a career minor league player.

          It funny how people get excited over everybody else’s proven trash, Volstad, Stewart, Dejesus, Mathers, but refuse to give the Cubs “trash”, Wells, Campana, Coleman a chance.

          • Kyle

            He’s had a whole lot of years in the minors, too. It’s not like he just showed up on last year’s Cubs roster and nobody had any idea what he could do.

            • Jay Anderson Jr

              His Minor league numbers are pretty impressive.

              • Kyle

                Career .712 OPS in the minors? You are too easily impressed.

              • ferrets_bueller

                dude, what?

  • SirCub

    For those concerned about Samardzija having the secondary pitches necessary to make it through the order multiple times. Against Shark the second time through the order today, an Indians lineup full of regulars went:

    0/8 with 1 BB and 4 K’s.

    We’ll see how he does the third time through.

    • Edwin

      We’ll see how he does in the regular season.

      • SirCub

        I agree, but it’s just something to keep an eye on. Third time through (before he was pulled): 1/4, a basehit and three groundouts. Obviously it’s a small sample size, but its nice to see that he was able to consistently get out guys like Asdrubal Cabrera, Shin-Soo Choo, and Travis Hafner the second and third time through the order. Those are legit ML hitters.

        • King Jeff

          He also faced a lineup full of lefties and came through pretty well. I think he locked up his spot in the rotation today.

  • BeyondFukudome

    http://espn.go.com/boston/conversations/_/id/7748320/chris-carpenter-boston-red-sox-needs-surgery

    Stop by. Read the whining by Sawx fans and poke a little fun at them.

    • Joe

      Fishin’ Phil linked this above. As I said: Voodoo!

  • die hard

    Notice Soriano is getting alot of playing time? Strange as he should be given time off to save legs…wonder why?

    • Joe

      If he’s hitting, you don’t want to cool that bat. Especially if you’re holding out any hope that he gets traded, like, ever.

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