Jeff Samardzija is Still Getting the Kid Gloves and Other Bullets

Golfers these days. They can’t even shoot under par. I mean, I could shoot 10 over … (ok, 40 over) …

  • The Cubs continue to keep an extraordinarily close eye on Jeff Samardzija’s pitch count and total innings, after giving him an extra day of rest this week, and pulling him last night after just over 100 pitches. He’s already at 78 innings this year, after throwing just 88 last year in relief, and he’s struggled in his last three starts. Samardzija says his arm still feels good, maybe even stronger than ever. But the Cubs still have to be careful with a guy who could continue to develop into a frontline starter. ”If he can, [Samardzija will] go the whole season,” pitching coach Chris Bosio said, according to the Tribune. “He works hard. He’s talented. Like a lot of your young players, he’s still learning the game. But he’s definitely one we’re watching closely …. We try to keep track of every warmup pitch, every side session, everything. It’s all documented.”
  • Dale Sveum was eager to talk up utility infielder/current starting third baseman Luis Valbuena after yesterday’s three-run homer. “For a small guy he has some pop in his bat,” Sveum said. “He’s a pretty quality hitter and so far you’ve seen his defense. He’s very capable at third base as well as other places …. That ball comes off that bat and he’s a future guy you have to keep your eye on because he’s a left-handed hitter that can play the infield that can hit the ball out of the ballpark.” I don’t know about his future as a starter, but Valbuena, who broke into the bigs as a 22-year-old in 2008, certainly has the skills to stick on some team’s bench.
  • Sveum is considering giving Starlin Castro a day off, as the shortstop is going through a particularly rough patch. “It’s a possibility I’ve thought about,” Sveum said. “That might be coming pretty close because he is pressing a little bit, but he is a huge asset on the field every day …. It’s is an idea you think about all the time, giving everyday players a day off. It is just hard to do when you are not winning a lot of ballgames and you take your best hitter out of the lineup.” In his last 14 games, Castro certainly hasn’t hit like the best hitter in the lineup. His line is an ugly .186/.213/.322.
  • The Cubs have officially announced the signings of 15 draft picks, most of whom we already knew about, at least informally. The signees are: supplemental first round pick Paul Blackburn, a high school pitcher, fourth round pitcher Josh Conway out of Coastal Carolina University, seventh round infielder Stephen Bruno out of the University of Virginia, eighth round left-handed pitcher Michael Heesch out of the University of South Carolina Beaufort, ninth round catcher Chadd Krist out of the University of California, Berkeley, 11th round high school outfielder Rashard Crawford, 14th round right-handed pitcher Corbin Hoffner out of St. Petersburg College, 15th round catcher Carlos Escobar out of the University of Nevada-Reno, 17th round left-handed pitcher Nathan Dorris out of Southern Illinois University, 21st round right-handed pitcher Stephen Perakslis out of the University of Maine, 28th round catcher Lance Rymel out of Rogers State University, 30th round right fielder Izaac Garsez out of the College of Idaho, 32nd round shortstop Timothy Saunders out of Marietta College, 35th round third baseman Ben Carhart out of Stetson University, and 40th round first baseman Jacob Rogers out of Mount Olive College.
  • Koyie Hill has cleared waivers, and the Cubs outrighted him to AAA. Hill’s particular situation allows him to decide whether he wants to accept the assignment, or become a free agent. That decision will be made in short order.
  • Interim hitting coach James Rowson is already working with Cubs hitters on new drills.
  • Peter Gammons wrote what started out as an interesting take on the Cubs’ rebuild, but which somehow morphed into a discussion of the wealth of shortstop prospects in the Boston Red Sox’s system. That sounds like a Peter Gammons joke, but I’m serious. It wasn’t even a “Theo Epstein did this with the Red Sox, here’s what he might do with the Cubs kind of thing,” which would have been a legitimate, albeit overplayed, link. He just started talking about Red Sox shortstop prospects.
  • I was on ESPN Radio in New Hampshire yesterday to talk about the Cubs and Red Sox (sorry, no replay link, and sorry for the lack of a head’s up – traveling yesterday kind of threw my schedule off), and I’m going to be on the radio in New Zealand today at 4:40 CT. It’s LiveSport Radio’s National Sporting Breakfast Radio Show (it’ll be breakfast-time there). You should be able to listen here (might take a bit to load, it being all the way in New Zealand and all). I bet you anything that they’ll find my accent sexy.

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

17 responses to “Jeff Samardzija is Still Getting the Kid Gloves and Other Bullets”

  1. SirCub

    “Golfers these days. They can’t even shoot under par.”

    And it’s not like the course they’re playing is that hard or anything. A 103 yard Par 3? Come on. I didn’t check, but I’m pretty sure that there are no 670 YD Par 5′s and 250 YD Par 3′s.

  2. Abe Froman

    That Gammons article is hilarious, it’s exactly as you say, mid-stream of discussing the Cubs rebuild (all well retread for readers of this blog) he just starts talking about the Red Sox.

    Cubs rebuild, draft, Epstein, Hoyer, ‘and they just signed Soler because the international signing rules are changing, which reminds me, this will be an issue that Boston has to deal with, here are two paragraphs about the Red Sox with no discernible segue from the article’s purpose as outlined by its title ‘Cubs Starting Over from Ground Up’.’

    The title of this article should be ‘Cubs Starting Over from Ground Up which Reminds Me of Some Recent International Signings Boston has Made, and Other Bostony Related Ramblings.’

    (I’m sure Peter Gammons is a nice man, but they really need to get him a solid editor, there were also a few grammatical errors and wrong words in his article. He’s no Brett of course.)

    1. fester30

      He seemed drunk the way he was wondering through that piece. Would have surprised me if his path took him somewhere other than the Red Sox, though. Seems like every time on ESPN he is finding some way to make everything relate to the Red Sox.

    2. Smitty

      Gammons has been a mess, as one might expect, ever since his heart attack. He actually used to be a partially biased writer, but he doesn’t care, bother, or realize that he has become a total homer. I quit reading him a two years ago because he has become so hard to digest.

  3. Leroy K.

    Most Brits/Aussies/etc. find our accents sexxy!! I love it :)

  4. MichiganGoat

    BleacherNation going international, excellent. Be sure to watch Flight of the Conchords before the call.

    1. oswego chris

      saw the Conchords play live in Milwaukee…5th row….awesome…

      1. MichiganGoat

        They are amazing

  5. goatbuster

    Happy Fathers Day to all the awesome dads out there teaching thier children about good baseball (minus all the bad baseball we’ve been watching!).

  6. jim

    CUBS LOSE! CUBS LOSE!
    Our lovable LOSERS!
    p.s. LET’S hope this “rebuilding”
    doesn’t take too long. I am 69 yrs
    old & would really like to see a “Winner”
    before I move on!

  7. Serious Cubs Fan

    Anyone see the garbage that Nick Cafardo wrote? He is suggesting Daniel Bard of the Red sox being a center piece of a Matt Garza trade. Absolute garbage. Everyone has found out that Bard can’t be a starter. He doesn’t have enough pitches. He doesn’t pitch, he throws the ball. There is a big difference. His ceiling is a pretty good relief man. If we were to trade Garza to the Red Sox they would have to give up Middlebrooks (which they won’t), or Xander Bogaerts SS or Bryce Brentz OF or Matt Barnes RHP. I want nothing to do with their top catching prospect Ryan Lavarnway (His ceiling is very limit and I’ve read a lot that he will never have the bat to sniff a allstar game but just a good prospect). A deal for garza they will have to give up at least 2 of those 4 prospects, which the boston media thinks they can get garza for nothing basically and pisses me off. They honestly think Ryan Lavarnway and a Daniel Bard type of deal is enough. The boston fan base and media are senile!! They thought they could get garza for Theo! Ha!

    1. Glotzbach

      Then what are you doing here? Shouldn’t you be on the phone with Theo?

    2. MichiganGoat

      Nicky C isn’t worth a read anymore, him and Larry Lou can enjoy their ignorance together.

  8. Frank

    I just turned 63 and I know what Theo and company are doing is the right thing to do, But this year is making me sick. I knew there would be a lot of pain and frustration, but I hope Theo isn’t getting directions from Moses.

  9. die hard

    Babying Smardja!!!…hes an NFL draft choice…yeesh…he could take hits from Urlacher and so should be throwing 125 pitches a game like Fergie, the hockey player did

  10. Irish cub

    Is there a reason that Pierce Johnson isnt on this list?