Chicago Cubs manager Mike Quade told reporters that he hopes to insert Jeff Samardzija into the rotation on September 18th, when the Cubs play the Florida Marlins. The Chicago Cubs potentially looking for two starting pitchers this off-season this could be a step in the right direction for Samardzija if he performs well as a starter for the last three weeks of the season.
The Chicago Cubs placed high expectations on Samardzija when even before he through a pitch at the professional level, the Cubs decided to give him a 5 year major league contract worth $10MM with a full no trade clause. Samardzija has yet to live up to that contract, as he is heading into the final year before free agency.
Two of the biggest issues that Samardzija has faced throughout his career is lack of a second pitch to go with his fastball, and lack of control. While with the Iowa Cubs this year, Samardzija has reportedly developed a cutting fastball that ranges from 89 MPH-92MPH and has been having success getting hitters to swing and miss with it. His control has been no different than years in the past when he was in the minor leagues, so we have to wait to see if he can translate that into the major league level.
While splitting time as a starter and reliever for the Iowa Cubs, Samardzija posted a record of 11-3 with an ERA of 4.37 while striking out 102 and walking 54 batters.