With Lilly returning, Cubs Send down Samardzija


With Ted Lilly making his season debut last night, the Cubs had to send down one of their relievers in order to make room for their returning all star. And in decision that probably was not too difficult, the Cubs decided to send down Jeff Samardzija, who in 3.2 inning pitched this season has an ERA of 18.90 while giving up 5 hits and 6 walks.

Ted Lilly had a successful comeback yesterday, as he went on to throw six shutout innings on 3 hits, and was the winning pitcher in the Cubs 5-1 win over the Brewers.

But looking past Lilly, this now creates an interesting situation with the Cubs and Jeff Samardzija. As coming into the season the Cubs felt that he would be an improved pitcher, but obviously that has not been the case.  And that makes the decision to give Samardzija a 5 year/ $10MM major league contract when he was drafted, questionable at the least.

However, the Cubs are not necessarily giving up hope that Samardzija can still contribute to the this years team…

"Manager Lou Piniella said Samardzija would continue to be used out of the bullpen at Iowa in case the Cubs need him in that role later."

"“We’ve got a lot of starting pitching here, so for him to get back quicker, out of the bullpen would be the easiest way,” Piniella said. CHICAGO BREAKING SPORTS"

Personally, I do not think it is a good decision on the Cubs part to keep rotating Samardzija between the Majors and Minors. In my opinion, Samardzija is still not fully developed. He still needs to work on his control of his pitchers, and develop an off-speed pitch to go with his fastball. And I think until he does, the Cubs should keep in the Minors so he can still develop as a pitcher.