Chicago Cubs: Looking back at Jeff Samardzija’s career

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Jul 28, 2015; Boston, MA, USA; A multiple-exposure sequence of Chicago White Sox pitcher Jeff Samardzija (29) during the eighth inning against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

He’s not an ace, but he’s what the Cubs need

Most of you who think a reunion tour between the Chicago Cubs and Jeff Samardzija will criticize me for wanting a player who’s coming off a year in which he posted a near-5.00 ERA, failed to strikeout batters and served up home runs like hot cakes.

But if you’ll indulge me for a moment, we saw Joe Maddon get particularly creative in the late stretch of the regular season, and even in the postseason, working relievers in and out of games like a basketball coach uses bench players – early and often.

Jason Hammel was pulled early repeatedly and, while he finished the year on a high-note, you were never really sure what you were going to see from Kyle Hendricks. Pitching coach Chris Bosio has shown what he can do with struggling hurlers and there’s no reason to believe Samardzija would be any different.

This guy is a competitor. Now that Chicago is in the thick of the postseason picture for years to come, expect him to kick things up a notch. He’ll give you 200 innings, filling a void in the middle of the rotation and giving the pen some much-needed down time.

It just makes sense.