Sep 3, 2012; Washington, DC, USA; Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija (29) throws in the third inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-US PRESSWIRE

Jeff Samardzija To Be Shutdown For The Season

The Washington Nationals imminent decision to shutdown starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg has been drawing the attention of many media outlets as the Nationals push for the top spot in the National League. This makes it all more perplexing that almost none of the media outlets that are following Strasburg’s innings limit with the Nationals are also following starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija‘s innings limit with the Cubs. After all, don’t the Cubs need Samardzija to push the team’s effort to avoid 100 losses for the 2012 season. Okay, may be there is a difference between the Nationals’ decision on Strasburg and the Cubs’ decision on Samardzija.

Nonetheless, Cubs’ manager Dale Sveum announced on Friday that Saturday will be the last start of the season for Samardzija. Sveum indicated that Samardzija was relatively welcome of the news that he would be shutdown after his start on Saturday. The 27 year old Samardzija indicated that the decision was made after the Cubs calculated the total number of innings that the starting pitcher has thrown between his winter workouts, spring training starts, and regular season starts.

When the staff took into account Samardzija’s work not only in spring training but also during the winter, shutting him down was a much easier decision.

“That made it clear that essentially it was a 200-inning season for me if you take spring training,” Samardzija said. “And that made it a little easier for me to get a grasp on because that was a big number for me. If you want to do what you want to do in this game you have to be throwing up there in those innings.” ESPN Chicago

Regardless of how Samardzija fares in his start against the Washington Nationals on Saturday, this will be a successful season for the pitcher in his first full season as a starting pitcher at the Major League level. Samardzija has posted a record of 8-13 on the season to go along with an ERA of 3.91 and a WHIP of 1.26. In addition, Samardzija has 171 strikeouts to go against 55 base on balls in 165.2 innings of work this season for the Cubs.

After being skeptical of the Cubs’ decision to shift Samardzija from the bullpen to the starting rotation, the move turned out out to be one of the–if not–the best move of the 2012 season for the Cubs. I, personally, always projected Samardzija as being the Cubs’ late-inning reliever if not closer for the long-term future. Samardzija is indeed going to be a vital part of the Cubs’ long-term future, though it will be as a starting pitcher. With his efforts for the Cubs in 2012, Samardzija finally seemed to prove to the Cubs fans and all of Major League Baseball that he made the right decision in sticking with baseball after college instead of choosing a life in the National Football League. As we look forward to the 2013 season, Samardzija figures to be in the top half of the Cubs’ starting rotation. A returning Matt Garza will likely be the ace of the Cubs’ 2013 starting rotation, but, Samardzija is a prime candidate to be the #2 for the Cubs in their starting rotation for the 2013 season.


Tags: Chicago Cubs Jeff Samardzija

  • Nick

    This is a smart move. I commented on this on Facebook as well, but I don’t feel when Garza returns he should be tagged the ace. His consistency and durability have not been that of an ace, and he has the same issue that Big Z had. High pitch counts. Rarely does he get into the 5th with less than 85. Then it becomes taxing on the pen, which has been the case as long as I can remember, no matter who the skipper. I remember Paul Assenmacher appearing in about every game one season after the first 60 games. Camp was used in the same way, but Dale had no real options as Marmol at that time was a mess and no one else could get an out. But I digress. I believe Shark is the ace of this staff. And I think the strides he made through his work ethic will last year to become a starter, will carry over to this winter to become the #1 guy next year.