Jeff Samardzija started his Spring Training season with a four-pitch walk to Gerardo Parra. All four pitches were up, which is fairly common early on, when guys are prone to overthrowing. From there, Samardzija settled down (if that’s actually a think in Spring Training), striking out two and giving up two hits over his two innings of work. He appeared to be working on his cutter, in particular, which showed nice late movement, but was kind of all over the zone.
A couple media reports noted that scouts were in attendance to see Samardzija work:
Former Cub GM Ed Lynch at opener watching Samardzija pitch . Lynch is a top talent evaluator for Toronto.
— Bruce Levine (@MLBBruceLevine) February 27, 2014
Yanks, Nats, Jays, Bucs among bevy of teams scouting Smarj start. But don't read too much into it; scouts out in force all camps all spring.
— Gordon Wittenmyer (@GDubCub) February 27, 2014
The last point from Wittenmyer is the one worth highlighting the most strongly. Because the teams are so centrally located, and because scouting occurs in advance of the season for many non-trade-related reasons, lots of teams are scouting lots of players. It’s certainly interesting to know that some teams are at the game checking out Samardzija, but it’s also completely unsurprising. That said, teams know Samardzija is theoretically available right now.
It’ll be this way at every Samardzija start this Spring, so prepare yourself for it, I guess.