Dusty Baker Pays High Compliments to Jeff Samardzija and Other Bullets

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Dusty Baker Pays High Compliments to Jeff Samardzija and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

The Cubs are going to have a couple of roster decisions to make today, as both Ryan Dempster and Kerry Wood are expected to be activated from the disabled list. I don’t think the Cubs are going to get too creative with the moves – they’ll probably just send Randy Wells back to Iowa, and do something like DL Scott Maine or send him to Iowa, too.

  • I told you Jeff Samardzija’s performance last night was sublime, you all undoubtedly agreed, and we weren’t the only one who saw it that way. “That’s the best we’ve seen probably this year against us,” Reds manager Dusty Baker told reporters. “Usually he doesn’t have that kind of command and control. Our reports say he’s throwing the ball good, and you could see he was at 95-98 [mph], and when he left, he was throwing 95-96. He threw the ball great against us. It wasn’t us tonight; it was him.” Kind words. Unrelatedly, I want to marry that picture of Dusty there. It is fantastic.
  • Samardzija, who passed on the credit to his teammates, offers his thoughts on the season (and unintentionally captures what it is to be a Cubs fan): “We didn’t have a team meeting to say this is a rebuilding year. We just kind of skipped that altogether. We want to win games. Every day you get a new chance to win a game. We might have to do it a different way than say the Yankees or somebody but pitching and defense goes a long way.”
  • Ian Stewart, who homered last night, is staying positive despite his rough numbers to start the year: “I feel like out of four at-bats, I’m putting together two, sometimes three quality at-bats a game almost, and if I just keep hitting like that, I think eventually those are going to fall …. It’s a slow start when you look at the numbers on paper but … I’ve been hitting balls hard, kind of ‘at ’em’ balls,” he said. “I feel if I keep getting my work in with Rudy [Jaramillo, hitting coach] and Dale and keep being aggressive, those will turn into extra-base hits.”
  • Speaking of Stewart, here’s a quote from ESPNChicago, which will probably be edited soon. “I take a lot of pride in my defense so for me making a god pay in the field can sometimes top having a base hit,” Stewart said. Ian Stewart: making gods pay since 2012. Do something, Zeus. Do something.
  • The Cubs, as is often the case, are the top road draw so far on the season. We’re everywhere, Cubs fans.
  • Tony Campana wants to steal 100 bases, and thinks he could do it. “I’ve told people before that if I played every day and did what I hope I could do at the plate, I could give myself a chance to get close to 100,” he said, according to Paul Sullivan. “Once you get past a certain number, people are going to really pay more attention to you. But I’d like to think I could come close.” Well, yeah – if did “what you hope you could do at the plate,” then I guarantee you could steal 100, because you’d be on base at a .400 clip.
  • Sullivan has a solid mailbag this week, touching on a number of rumor-ish topics. Of note, Sullivan thinks Ryan Dempster is not a trade candidate, and, instead, is more likely to be a guy who is re-signed on a team-friendly deal. I’d be OK with either route, but I do hope that, if Dempster wants a chance to pitch for a contender this year (assuming it isn’t the Cubs), the Cubs give him that chance.
  • Bryan LaHair has now reached base in 20 straight games, the longest such streak for a Cubs first baseman since Derrek Lee reached base 21 straight times in 2009.
  • As noted in this morning’s Minor League Daily, Frank Batista was the Cubs’ Minor League pitcher of the month for April, and Anthony Rizzo (duh) took home the player of the month honor.
  • The Red Sox signed Mark Prior to a minor league deal yesterday, which, like, whatever, good luck. But every single Cubs-related publication had a story about it immediately after the signing. I’m not sure I get it. Yes, Prior came up with the Cubs, and, yes, he was very good for a couple years. But he hasn’t been with the Cubs in over six years, and hasn’t pitched meaningfully for the Cubs in over seven. He hasn’t even pitched in the big leagues since 2006, and has unsuccessful minor league/comeback attempts with the Padres, Rangers, and Yankees. The signing is worth a Bullet mention, but a story? I just don’t see it, unless you’re going to do a full-on human interest piece about his years trying to get back. The signing, itself, is a blip.

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Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.