Jeff Samardzija Was Awesome Last Week and Other Bullets

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Jeff Samardzija Was Awesome Last Week and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

jeff samardzija gatorade showerI woke up this morning with my eyes all puffed up and a lethargy that I’ve felt only after a couple consecutive sleepless nights. I think I’ve slept all right the last couple nights (“normal” for having a two-year-old and an infant, anyway), and I don’t really feel sick, so I wonder what’s up. The only thing I could think of is that we have had the window open in our bedroom for the last couple nights, and I seem to remember something from my childhood about this time of year causing me problems when the windows are open at night. I do have serious seasonal allergy issues (though I’m on allergy shots), so maybe there’s something there. In any case, I am in quite a fog today.

  • Jeff Samardzija had a rough stretch before last week, and it lasted longer than you might realize. Before his last two starts, Samardzija was sporting a 5.50 ERA over the preceding 14(!) starts. In that time, he saw his early season ERA slip from 2.85 to 4.29, and the talk of him having made the right decision in betting on himself (i.e., not accepting a team-friendly, long-term extension in the offseason) died down. In his last two starts, however, Samardzija was dominant, putting up a 1.59 ERA over 17 innings. He struck out 12 and walked just 2. The two performances were good enough to net Samardzija Player of the Week honors in the NL (tied with Jose Fernandez, who now carries the Matt Harvey hope balloon), and have us all starting to wonder how the anticipated offseason extension discussions are going to go. Samardzija is under team control for two more years, but it’s no secret that the Cubs would like to lock him down for a couple more after that.
  • Baseball America’s prospect notebook includes a bit on Cubs pitching prospect C.J. Edwards, the lanky righty the Cubs got in the Matt Garza deal. Edwards, 21, has been perversely successful since being promoted to High-A with the Cubs, posting a 1.45 ERA over five starts and 18.2 innings, striking out 28 and walking just 6. Before that, he dominated lower levels in the Rangers’ system. From BA: “Mike Olt may have been the more well-known name in the trade that sent Matt Garza to Texas, but Edwards could end up being the prize of the haul for the Cubs. With a fastball that sits around 90-94 mph and can get into the high 90s when he needs it, Edwards is a strike thrower who repeats his delivery, works down in the zone, misses plenty of bats and can keep the ball in the yard.” With a few more pounds on his frame, I’d think you would see more folks believing Edwards can sustain this success long-term as a starter at higher levels (well, maybe not *this* much success, but legit success). He’s got the stuff, he’s got the pitches, and (right now) he’s got the control/command. Is Edwards the top pitching prospect in the Cubs’ system? Is his a top 100 overall prospect? Depends on the eyes-on reports, but the answers very plausibly could be yes and yes, going into next year.
  • (You can also read about how well Jonathan Gray is pitching in the Rockies’ system – but I don’t think the Cubs are upset with choosing Bryant over Gray. Not only are we talking about a handful of games, but it’s not like Bryant hasn’t also been absolutely dominant this year.)
  • Junior Lake has the huge arm, but Brian Bogusevic – a converted pitcher – is the Cubs’ emergency pitcher.

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.