Is Jeff Samardzija Wearing Down? and Other Bullets

Jeff Samardzija is Inigo MontoyaThe leaves changing in the fall is always a beautiful sight. One of my favorite annual natural phenomena, actually.

But I really freaking hate raking.

  • Over his last three starts, Jeff Samardzija has given up 17 earned runs in 18.1 innings. That includes 5 homers (though he’s struck out 20). Is he wearing down? Well, outside of it being September and it being three straight starts, I’d caution putting too much of anything in the way of a conclusion into such a small sample. That said, Samardzija’s manager thinks it could be an issue. “He probably won’t admit it,” Sveum said, per Cubs.com. “But I’d go out on a limb and say there’s a combination of [being physically worn down] and getting a little mentally wore out right now, too.” Samardzija did indeed deny it. Given the performances, though, you almost hope he *is* wearing down, so that at least there’s an excuse for his struggles.
  • Setting aside the “wearing down” thing, I’m more likely to point out that Samardzija’s ERA is actually quite bad dating all the way back to the beginning of June. In his last 19 starts – 122 innings – Samardzija’s ERA is 5.39. The advanced metrics say he’s been much better than that, obviously, but it makes you a little nervous. It also could make it much harder for the Cubs and Samardzija to come together on a reasonable extension this offseason.
  • Something I really don’t care to see? Samardzija has topped 100 pitches in all but five of his starts this year, and two of those five were 99 pitches. He’s gone over 110 pitches 14 times. So, yeah, maybe he is wearing down. (By contrast, Clayton Kershaw – who has thrown 20 more innings than Samardzija in the same number of starts – has gone over the 110 mark just seven times this year. Kershaw is a freak, though, so I offer that information only to demonstrate the theoretical possibilities.)
  • In his comments to the media earlier this week, Jed Hoyer (per ESPNChicago) noted that both Albert Almora (groin) and Jorge Soler (leg) are on track to play healthily in the Arizona Fall League.
  • The Cubs have created a model of what Wrigley Field and the surrounding area will look like once the renovation is complete. I have only one question: Where can I buy one?
  • Don’t forget, there’s a special offer on BN shirts/apparel right now: buy any two items, get free shipping. Just use coupon code “FALL2013.”

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

110 responses to “Is Jeff Samardzija Wearing Down? and Other Bullets”

  1. Chad

    I just have never seen anyone from the Hendry era (ML) being a big part of a winning cubs team. That includes Castro and Shark.

    My theory does not include minor leaguers obtained by Hendry because they have been in the minor league developing under Theo’s regime. Castillo is one who could be on the line, but he has developed so much in the last 2 years I have a hard time calling him Hendry’s.

    Either way I think Samardzija needs to be traded. I don’t think he’s part of the long term solution.

    1. C. Steadman

      i think castro could be a beast on a winning team…agree with Shark…I wouldnt be mad at all if he got traded, unless the return is too low

    2. cubchymyst

      I think if Samardzija and the Cubs don’t reach a deal this winter he’ll likely get shopped at the start of the season and the trade deadline if he is still around. This front office doesn’t seem like that are willing to simply lose a player like Samardzija to free agency and rather get a few prospects in return.

    3. wvcubsfan

      So any player that was developed for a shorter amount of time in Hendry’s terrible farm system is terrible and not a part of the team going forward. However, those players that spent more time in said terrible farm system are good to be a part of the team moving forward?

      How about those players that were acquired from talent that were drafted and spent time in that terrible system? Those too couldn’t possibly be a part of the team moving forward as they were acquired by poisonous fruit, right?

      I still don’t understand all of the Hendry hate even years after he’s been an employee of a different MLB team. Want to hate? Try McPhail, the Tribune, or Zell. All three of those deserve way more ire from fans than Hendry.

      1. Chad

        It really has nothing to do with Hendry. More that a clean break is needed in my opinion. There is a much different philosophy being taught now than what was when Hendry was there, which was practically nothing. Guys like Baez were drafted by Hendry, but have had 2 years in the Theo system at the minors so they have succeeded or failed in Theo’s system the last 2 years. It doesn’t matter who acquires them as long as they have time to develop in the current system.

        Guys like Castro are in the ML due to Hendry’s “system” and didn’t develop under Theo’s. I don’t think Castro will ever change, maybe he shouldn’t.

        I personally don’t like Castro’s approach at the plate,never have. I don’t think he’s a good team hitter. Very selfish. But I’m not running this team. As far as Shark, again I would be happy if they extended him with expectations of him being a 3 starter and getting that kind of contract, but I don’t want anyone to expect him to be an ace. I think both of these guys have more value to the cubs as trade pieces than as core players. Just my opinion.

        1. Really?

          Chad, you are giving Theo and Co. way too much credit. There is no data showing the ‘Cubs Way’ of hitting actually leads to more runs being scored. As a matter of fact, since the whole moneyball, wait for a walk, get a good pitch to drive, it’s okay to strike out, batting average doesn’t matter philosophy, runs have gone down every year. I’m not saying it has’t had any effect, since it has succeeded to drop batting average, and raise strike out totals.

          Maybe we have better MiLB instructors now, but the big thing is, we have better talent. Theo and Co. can take some credit for that.

          1. jh03

            “There is no data showing the ‘Cubs Way’ of hitting actually leads to more runs being scored.”

            False.

            1. wvcubsfan

              Are you referring to baseball as a whole, or the Cubs team as it is presently constructed?

              Because I think you are talking about the former and Really is talking about the later. I know, small sample size, margin of error, graphs, fangraphs, BA/BR, and all of that other stuff.

          2. Chad

            Really? Really? Really? I never said it was proven to work. I’m just saying that there is a different approach. Some can do it some can’t. It’s much easier as a team to be successful if everyone buys into the same system. Also, you are looking at it very simplistically. Has pitching gotten better? probably. There are many factors, not just the hitting approach, and not everyone has taken that approach either so not really sure how you can compare years of baseball and say that because of moneyball methods offense has decreased. Very blunt statement that carries little weight.

            1. Really?

              “It’s much easier as a team to be successful if everyone buys into the same system.”

              Nope: The best teams have more players player to heir highest levels.

              ” Has pitching gotten better? probably”

              Chicken/Egg argument. Has pitching gotten better or has hitting gotten worse?

              1. Chad

                Why has hitting gotten worse? better pitching perhaps? I don’t know.

                Having more players play to their highest level. Yes that is true, but why can’t a guy play at his highest level and buy into a system. I have seen numerous times when Castro, or another cubs hitter will come up with a man on 3B less than 2 outs and they pull a weak grounder to SS or 3b where the runner can’t score. Push it to 2nd or 1st and you have a run. Or when a guy gets walked on 4 pitches and then you swing at the first pitch next at bat. It’s not smart, and that is not going to help anyone reach their potential.

                1. Really?

                  Your give yourself up to get a runner in or over will not sit well with the advance stats guys. Besides, maybe they are trying and just suck at hitting.

                  “Or when a guy gets walked on 4 pitches and then you swing at the first pitch next at bat. It’s not smart, and that is not going to help anyone reach their potential.”

                  Age old question. Do you swing or do you take? It’s very possible that that first pitch could be a ‘get me over’ batting practice fastball. Then it wouldn’t do any good to take it.

                  1. Drew7

                    “Your give yourself up to get a runner in or over will not sit well with the advance stats guys”

                    If hadn’t been so quick with your snarkiness, you may have noticed he said, “a runner on 3B”.

                2. James

                  Castro hits the ball the opposite way over 48% of the time, which is the highest rate in MLB, you have no clue what your talking about. Castro is a 23 year old who has already been a 2 time all-star before the philosophy change; he’s not a robot and people have different strengths. It’s the coaches job to ‘see’ those strengths and use them properly.

                  1. Chad

                    It’s more about situational hitting than just hitting to the other side. A lot of his weak hits to the other side is when he flips the bat at a ball 2 feet outside the strike zone. Sure he hits them to the opposite direction, but how many result in hits? And then why does he roll over on a ball when he knows he needs to hit it the opposite direciton?

                    And I agree with someone who said about the swinging at first pitch. It’s ok occasionally, but if a guy can’t find a strike zone why let him off the hook. Make him throw a good pitch first.

                    Also, I’m a huge proponent of advanced metrics, but that still doesn’t exclude baseball understanding and knowing what kind of situation you are in.

                  2. 1060Ivy

                    Don’t know the source for ‘Castro hits the ball the opposite way over 48% of time’ comment but you may want to review these comments and sources. Neither of them contradict your comment but do make one question it.

                    From recent ESPN article on Castro’s return to hitting:

                    “Over the last nine games at home, Castro hit the ball to right field a whopping 48.6 percent when he made contact.”
                    http://espn.go.com/blog/chicago/cubs/post/_/id/19723/is-the-old-starlin-castro-back

                    Here’s Starlin Hit Chart at Wrigley:
                    http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/player/starlin-castro/hitchart/720275?q=starlin-castro

          3. bbmoney

            There are a lot of problems here. One of which is that the whole “moneyball” concept is overplayed and isn’t just an offensive concept. Statistical analysis and sabermetrics apply to all parts of the game. Boiled down to its most basic level you want to find offensive players who make as few outs as possible regardless of form (hits, walks, etc) and pitchers who control the parts of the game they have full control over as well as possible (allowing few free passes, striking guys out, to a certain extent allowing HRs).

            Also I’ll note that correlation does not imply causation and the existence of many confounding variables when you just look at high level things like this.

            Also the Red Sox do ok offensively with this approach….granted you need talent….but as you said you always need talent regardless of approach.

            1. Really?

              “Also I’ll note that correlation does not imply causation and the existence of many confounding variables when you just look at high level things like this.”

              I can agree with this, but it does need further research.

              “Also the Red Sox do ok offensively with this approach….granted you need talent….but as you said you always need talent regardless of approach.”

              The Red Sox have better hitters. The Red Sox have hiitters who naturally have these talents. Not all hitters are created equal. Not all hitters can conform to ‘The Cubs Way’.

              1. bbmoney

                The research has actually been done on all this. If you choose to disagree with the research or just ignore it, that’s up to you.

                1. Really?

                  Sorry, didn’t see that. In a nutshell, exactly what IS the reason runs have decreased every year for the last six?

                  1. bbmoney

                    You can go ahead and look up the analyses and studies for yourself, as I said that’s up to you….not me.

                    1. Really?

                      So you don’t know. That’s okay.

                    2. bbmoney

                      What exactly are you looking for? I’m talking about why the Cubs FO current approach at hitting is the right way to go about it. All you need to do is google it or check out any number of books from your local library, or just start reading fangraphs.

                      If you’re talking specifically about why fewer runs have been scored the past 6 years……see my comment above about correlation not implying causation, confounding variables, and the idea that it’s stupid to look at a complex problem and just say….oh…it’s because of moneyball. Which is just lazy and ignorant. Other than that. Thumbs up buddy.

                  2. CubsFaninMS

                    That’s as simple to answer as “Why is my computer’s CPU using 3% more of it resources over the past month than last?” Theories abound but no valid conclusions are available. Steroid use, scouting results, MLB player’s union rule changes, a genetic mutation in this country 20-25 years ago that caused some male infants to have quicker/more durable arm motions.. How are we to ever know?

        2. Funn Dave

          Not a good team hitter? Does he need to pass the ball more?

          JK, JK.

      2. Bric

        I disagree. Andy McPhail might not have made a lot of good decisions, Zell and the Trib were only out to make money and all the other GMs for the last 80ish years have produced the same negative result. But I can’t remember a more arrogant, narrow minded idiot related to the FO in the last 30 years than Hendry. He was a used car salesman in way over his head. Two words: Milton Bradley. Also, a famous quote: “Sure we don’t have any prospects in the top 100 but we’re loaded in the top 200″. Hurray for the Iowa Cub fans. Hendry was a train wreck of a GM.

    4. hansman1982

      Ummm…Theriot?

  2. C. Steadman

    i don’t know if he has said it anywhere else, but in that article from ESPN…Jed almost guaranteed that we’ll see Bryant in the OF in the AFL, that’s where I’d actually want to see him too…i want Baez/Villanueva/Olt to duel at 3B for the future

  3. Mike

    I really wish CSN would have actually shown the model of Wrigley. You can barely see anything in that video. Poor job, CSN.

    1. cubchymyst

      Agree. I was hoping to see how the Jumbotron looked in the model but I didn’t even caught a glimpse of it.

  4. Awakeape

    What about someone moving to 2nd base? Have the cubs explored moving Castro there?

    1. jon

      Castro would profile even worse at 2nd than he currently does at short.

      1. gocatsgo2003

        Huh? Why would that be?

        1. Jon

          You generally want more of a bat at 2nd than what Castro provides. If he can continue to work on his defense, then his bat is more acceptable at short stop.

          1. gocatsgo2003

            You generally want more of a bat than EITHER of our middle infielders have provided this year.

            1. Jon

              So what does moving Castro to second base solve?

              1. gocatsgo2003

                Not a ton — while I don’t think it would be ideal, I think Castro’s bat at 2B would be at least acceptable. The flipside is also that he may become one of the better defensive 2B out there (probably not Barney’s level with the glove, at least immediately, but the tools would be there).

          2. Chad

            That doesn’t make any sense. Why does it profile better at SS than at 2B? This year it is bad at both, but if you take his first 2 years then it works at either spot. Just depends what Castro you get. If Baez can play a better SS than Castro, Olt/Bryant/Villanueva is the best option at 3B then you eitehr have to move Castro to 2B, trade him, or trade someone. But you put your best players in their best positions. Maybe 2B lets Castro be a better player. I don’t know. I have never understood profiling players to a position based on their hitting ability. If having Castro at 2B is better for the team freaking do it.

      2. C. Steadman

        2nd is way easier than short

        1. willis

          If they stick it out with Castro, then I believe 2B is where Baez ends up, keeping Castro at SS. The only thing that could affect that IMO is if Alcantara gets a call and tears it up, then Baez is the 3B.

  5. SenorCub

    I would buy the tired thing if this was his 2nd or 3rd year in the league however this is his 6th year at the same time he has never pitched this many innings before. We can make any excuse for why this is happening but I for one was expecting better things from our so called “Ace”. I will stick to my guns and say he is a definite #3, not sure about the #2 upside anymore. We need a #2 and a #1. We have plenty of 3,4, and 5′s.

    1. gocatsgo2003

      1) Sixth year in the league, but second as a starter. His body probably still isn’t quite used to throwing so many innings in a year.

      2) Anyone who truly thought that the 2013 Cubs had an “ace” quality pitcher was deluding themselves.

      3) In the long run, having a “bunch of 3, 4, and 5′s” isn’t the worst thing in the world, especially when many of those guys still have a bit of projection left in them.

    2. C. Steadman

      i’m tired of people saying we need that clear cut #1 pitcher…the Boston Red Sox are the best team in baseball and they dont have an elite ace…they have a couple #2′s and #3′s with a #4..depending on how you want to rank their pitchers, but none of them are Kershaw or Verlander type pitchers…they have a potent lineup which is easy to pitch behind…the cubs prospects(if they pan out) will make a potent offense and the pitching prospects theyve gathered along with one or two current MLB SP will be able to pitch the Cubs to the playoffs just fine

      1. Chad

        That’s fine for the regular season, but come playoff time that may hurt them. Also, Bucholz is a lot closer to an ace than anyone the cubs have.

        1. C. Steadman

          getting to the playoffs is the first step though…and I count Buchholz as a #2..he isnt close to Verlander, Kershaw, Price…Cubs dont have a number #2 in the majors now but we have a few prospects that are projected to produce like Buchholz

      2. jt

        “i’m tired of people saying we need that clear cut #1 pitcher”
        –C. Steadman
        Agreed
        But.. It’d be nice to have a guy about the level of James Shields though.

  6. Eric

    Shark has been pretty disappointing and he is certainly nowhere near earning the contract he apparently thinks he deserves. The arm and stuff is definitely there – is the problem between the ears?

    Rough year for our core of Castro, Rizzo and Samardzija. I’m certainly not writing any of them off but we need at least two of them to show sizable improvement next year to get this moving in the right direction.

    1. willis

      Between the ears? Yes. Which will keep him at his floor rather than let him get close to his ceiling. He’s EJax 2.0…power, durable, amazing stuff, bad mistakes. Which, if you tell me I get EJax and Shark at the back of my rotation, I do back flips in joy. But this club needs to front line arm to be able to try and compete with the powers that be in the division.

      1. Chad

        Yeah, but right now he’s looking for a contract as a front of the line starter, and IMO, he’s not one yet. He may become one, he may be what he will be right now. I just don’t see it being all peaches and cream like a lot of people think. But man if you could turn him into a front of the line pitching prospect that is close, I’d be all over that.

        1. wvcubsfan

          This is where many lose me in this conversation. He’s not looking for any type of contract. What he did was decide not to sign an extension based on past performance with the hope of increasing his worth by performing at a higher level. It’s fairly evident that the improvement that he (the Cubs and the fans) wanted to see this year wasn’t there. I’ve yet to see anything other than 3rd hand information that he wants a contract that exceeds the level of play he’s provided to this point. If you’ve actual proof that is contrary to this please point me in that direction.

          1. Chad

            I’m not saying he is asking for that, but when you turn a contract down you are likely looking for a better one no? I’m suggesting if he wants $ like a #3 then the cubs could sign him. If he wants ace money they don’t. I hope this is clear enough for you.

            1. wvcubsfan

              Now that I agree with. I also don’t blame him a bit in turning down the extension with the hopes of getting more money. The Cubs held all of the cards at that time, and he was exercising the only leverage he had.

              Having said that, it will be interesting to see if he chooses to extend with the Cubs in the coming year or if he enters the free agent market. To me, then and only then will we be able to determine if he feels he is worth more than his performances on the field of play warrant.

              1. RY

                He gambled and lost; after this season he has no leverage now. Cubs definitely need to explore any and all trade options.

                1. Pat

                  He didn’t lose anything yet. He has two years left before free agency to improve on this year’s results

  7. Oliver

    I definitely would not even try to sign him. He seems arrogant
    And look who his agent is.. Let him go. He has very little
    To add to our staff. An occasional good game . We can get people
    Off the wire as good.
    Anyone agree.

    1. bbmoney

      I can’t speak for anyone else. But personally, no I don’t agree with much of anything you just said.

      I don’t care who his agent is. He has better raw stuff than anyone you’re going to get off the waiver wire. You always look to sign talent, if the price is right, and we as fans don’t know what his price is right now. And no way in heck I’d just ‘Let him go”, if you aren’t going to sign him, you have to try to trade him. Not necessarily this year, but before you just let him go.

    2. C. Steadman

      dont agree…noone in the Waiver Wire will be near Shark status(#3 starter)…teams dont waive #3′s

    3. mjhurdle

      i can honestly say that i do not agree with a single sentence in your post.

    4. frank

      Nope–I can’t agree either.

    5. Jay

      Well, considering he’s under club control for another two years and this year is not going to win him any friends at the arbitration table, you’re certainly not “letting him go”. At the very least you move him next year at the trade deadline and get the picks of the litter out of someone’s minor league system. Yeesh—learn how this works before you start yapping.

  8. arta

    wearing down? please no excuses.

  9. Randy

    I love how everyone writes off players based on 1 season. Castro is horrible, Shark is not a winner, Rizzo is not the answer. I think people forget that this is Sharks second season as a full time starter in the league. Lost of people have second season regressions. The Cubs ruined his development by switching him from starter to reliever between MLB/AAA for 3 years. His ERA is bloated because when he is struggling, the coaching staff decides to leave him out there to give up 6 to 9 earned runs before they take him out, even though anyone watching TV can tell he doesn’t have it. Is he an Ace? No, but that does not mean he can not be a solid number 2 and if he is a number 3, guess what he is still valuable to the team. And a lot of players struggle at 23 years old. As a 21/22 year old Castro’s numbers are better than Carlos Beltrans. Carlos OPS at 23 was .675 after .791 as a 22 year old. I am sure you would all want Beltran on this team. (Yes, I only used one player which was the first one I looked up, but don’t want to look up 50 players to prove a point). Rizzo’s also 23 had an OPS of .805 last year and .741 this year. Now if this time next year their numbers are the same, then you might want to start wondering, but don’t base it on one year.

  10. Oliver

    So what if the shark throws 100 MPH.

    Still not worth the attitude problem.

    1. DarthHater

      What attitude problem?

      1. wvcubsfan

        Evidently the will to win is frowned upon within in this organization.

        1. DarthHater

          Yea, the only things I can ever recall reading about Samardzija’s attitude is that he wants to be a starter, rather than a reliever, and when he struggles, he sometimes reacts by working too hard.

        2. Joe

          I wouldn’t say its the organization anymore, some within the fanbase still don’t like it though.

      2. Joe

        It’s pretty funny when you get to watch the fans make up character issues with players they don’t like right in front of your eyes haha

        1. Joe

          Don’t forget. Castro is lazy and lacks baseball smarts, A. Ramirez was injury prone and also lazy. Remember when Rizzo told Dale he didn’t like hitting second? What a selfish prick, am I right?!

          1. DarthHater

            You mean Anthony Ego? ;-)

            1. C. Steadman

              leggo my eggo

      3. frank

        Yeah–exactly what attitude problem?

  11. CubFan Paul

    Wow at the bandwagon jumpers.

  12. DarthHater

    9732683482_3b0ec9277c.jpg

    FTFY

  13. Aaron

    Rizzo leads the Cubs in 5 major stats this season: HR (21) , RUNS (66), RBI’s (73) & WALKS (72) & DOUBLES (35). Plus the season is not over. He’s only 23 years old and will continue to improve. Just imagine his numbers when his average, especially with RISP improves.

    1. Jono

      I’m bullish on Rizzo, but simply having an above average season is a little disappointing.

      1. mjhurdle

        i would be the first to say i want to see more out of Rizzo, but he is having an above-average year in his first full season, and basically his second year of playing time.

        Im not nominating him for MVP, but i think the whole “OMG Rizzo is a horrible” narrative is driven almost entirely by people that can’t look past BA as the measure of a hitter.

    2. Cubbie Blues

      I only counted 3 major stats that you listed.

    3. willis

      Leading the cubs is like the bum under the bridge with the biggest box and nicest pee jar. :)

  14. Big Joe

    So…he’s one of the best players, on a shitty team. When your measuring sticks are HIS TEAMMATES, well, that’s not really all too impressive.
    Actually, he’s 24.
    And, thank you for mentioning his batting average. Now, it’s your turn to get ripped for mentioning such a worthless measurement of a hitter’s abilities.
    He’s a starting 1st baseman, in the MAJOR LEAGUES, and he’s hitting .229.

    1. frank

      And the very next thing you mention is batting average . . .

      1. Big Joe

        Wow. It was SARCASM. I mention batting average ALL THE TIME. When I do, I get ripped by the saber stat-heads around here.

    2. Joe

      A lot of players struggle from time to time. Rizzo is still having a better season that I think most realize. Not a great season by any means, but for a young guy not bad at all.

    3. mjhurdle

      well, does it help that he is 4th in the NL in Doubles and walks? 37th in OPS? 17th in RBIs?
      31st in Runs? 13th in HRs?

      Is that impressive at all?

      2 minutes on baseball reference would have helped you a ton.

    4. willis

      He’s actually hitting .228.

      MJ-being 4th in the NL in doubles and walks is very impressive. The rest not so much.

      1. Jay

        But in this modern era of OBP and OPS, nobody should pay much attention to BA anymore……not if you’re buying into the new “Cubs Way”.

      2. mjhurdle

        he is top 10 in baseball in walks and doubles too. tied for 35th in the bigs in HRs.
        Again, my point is not that those are impressive numbers for a superstar, but i think they are acceptable numbers for a 1B in his second year of time and first full season.

        my post was more against the idea that he is bad as opposed to proclaiming him a top-teir hitter.

        1. willis

          Yeah he’s not terrible or anything close. I think I’d like to see him make more contact with runners on and lately, they’ve been on for him. But he’s still growing as a baseball player. I expect next season to be closer to an .800 OPS year as he gets better.

  15. Jono

    Maybe Samardzija should get a haircut and see if that works.

    1. TWC

      Terrible idea. Haircuts are for chumps.

      1. Jono

        yeah, well, you’re chump

        1. Jono

          damn it, my grammar error completely wasted a perfectly aweswome comeback

          1. DarthHater

            Jerk store!

            1. Jono
  16. Aaron

    Rizzo’s stats on a shitty team Big Joe is even more impressive. Batting average is important for sure, however you can’t dispute his stats in those key areas that were highlighted earlier Runs and RBI’s win games. Here’s to Rizzo having a better season next year!

  17. Jay

    Thank you for pointing out that Shark has been very mediocre the entire second half of this year. This “he’s tired” crap is ridiculous. If a big, strong starter can’t pitch 200 innings at age 28 then you should probably take up croquet.

  18. Big Joe

    Don’t get me wrong. Rizzo is no bum. Not at all. I am just saying that a lot of people got waaaaay ahead of themselves last year, and expected a lot this year. Perhaps, I’m answering my own doubts, when I use the word “expectations”. Is he bad? No. Do I see a ten time All-Star over the next decade? Not at all. Really, what I’m saying is, the guy just MIGHT turn out to be “a nice player”…nobody’s “MVP”. Is that a terrible thing? No. But, and don’t lie to me, I think a lot of people expected more out of him.

    1. Joe

      Honestly, I don’t anyone was expecting an MVP.

  19. Big Joe

    And, yes, I realize he’s only 24.

  20. Funn Dave

    “Given the performances, though, you almost hope he *is* wearing down, so that at least there’s an excuse for his struggles.”

    That was my first thought as well. However, if we do indeed plan on keeping Jeff as a central rebuilding block, then we’re going to need him to be able to pitch well all the way through September and beyond. Hopefully as he accrues more full years as a starter in the Bigs, he’ll get more accustomed to the extended workload and be able to stretch himself out a little longer.

  21. Losing makes u better 62-100 > 75-87

    Clayton Kershaw could rack up feasibly 250innings and I still wouldn’t be worried about the guy bc he is extremely efficient with his pitch counts. He doesn’t get deep into counts like Samardzija does and that’s what racks up pitches and wears guys down.

  22. George

    If you have a mulching lawn mower, go over the leaves a couple of times a week. It cuts them up so small they work into the grass. I hate raking with a passion.

  23. Aaron

    Carlos Beltran of the St. Louis Cardinals stats for this season. How do the compare with Rizzo’s that I highlighted earlier. Now just image Rizzo batting in front of Matt Holliday.

    Runs: 75
    2B: 27
    HR: 23
    RBI: 76
    BB:30

    mjhurdle…spend a few minutes on baseball reference validating these stats.

    1. mjhurdle

      everything seems to check out :)
      just further demonstrates the point that the negative view of Rizzo this year is mostly coming from people who view batting average as the main tool in determining a hitter’s ability.

      I dont think anyone here is proclaiming Rizzo as a top-teir MLB hitter yet. but for all the negative you hear about his season, he has still put up some decent stats, not just in comparison to other Cubs, but also to the league as a whole.

  24. CubsFaninMS

    Jeff Samardzija in a nutshell:

    The knowns: His fastball velocity, his potential to be an “above average” fixture in a MLB starting rotation, his gamer mentality.

    The unknowns: His ability to command his pitches, what he expects in a contract, Samardzija’s longevity, whether his gamer mentality properly translates to “better results” in pressure situations, what “rank” of pitcher he is (which, I’d like to add, we can argue until the cows come home.. or when Samardzija retires).

    It’s always good to clearly distinguish these two types of variables.

  25. cubsfanforever

    closer

  26. 70'scub

    Lack of command, Lack of command. Shark needs to go to a team that is a contender that has a need for a good line 4-5 pitcher that they also can use in the Pen. Front line starter he is not, please FO move him before the rest of the league figures his worth out!

  27. Voice of Reason

    Shark is a third or fourth starter and his numbers reflect that.

    That’s why his numbers are what they are. It has nothing to do with wearing down. The answer is he is just an OK starter.

  28. Kyle

    You know, if Samardzija, Castro and Rizzo don’t start being as awesome as we envisioned, it may not matter when the prospects start getting here.

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