2/20 Samardzija: “It’s about the team first”

It’s a different feeling in Cubs camp this spring for Jeff Samardzija, who would like a chance to fill a spot in the rotation.

“It’s a lot different but not because the day to day activities are different,” Samardzija said Monday. “It’s a different regime, it’s new people. This team has been turned over it seems like three times. You’re still getting to know everyone in the locker room, still getting to know the staff. They’ve done a great job, an exceptional job of getting everybody together, having meetings with the front office, getting to know the guys personally and getting this team together so we make that turn a little quicker than normal.”

Asked what he thought if he didn’t make the rotation and ended up in the bullpen, Samardzija said that was the “worst question” he’s heard.

“It’s about the team first,” Samardzija said. “When it comes down to breaking for the season, you’re going to do what’s best for the team. Personally, I have my own goals and where I feel like I want to be but as a team, when it comes down to game one, it doesn’t matter. All that matters is what your role is that they gave you that day and you go from there.”

Samardzija will get stretched out, and could be in the mix along with Chris Volstad, Randy Wells, Travis Wood, and Andy Sonnanstine for a spot in the rotation.

“It’s fun to almost not be throwing that day so you can sit by the cages and watch these guys throw,” Samardzija said. “We’ve got a lot of strong, young arms mixed in with some very good [veteran] arms, too.”

– Carrie Muskat

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