1/18 Samardzija wants to earn Opening Day start
It wasn’t that long ago that Jeff Samardzija’s future as a Major League pitcher was in doubt. Now, he could be the Cubs Opening Day starter.
“That would be a 180 for sure,” Samardzija said Friday at the Cubs Convention. “To go from maybe wondering if you were ever going to put a Cubs jersey on again two years ago at the convention to maybe being the Opening Day starter — it means a lot to me.
“I’m not a selfish guy, that’s not what I’m out for, but I have goals and things I want to shoot for and things that are important for me,” he said. “If we’re a better team if I pitch second or third behind a lefty, then so be it. It doesn’t mean you don’t have it in the back of your mind that you don’t strive for something like that.”
He hasn’t talked to Dale Sveum about the April 1 assignment against the Pirates.
“I figure we’ll wait until we get in uniform before we start talking about that,” Samardzija said, laughing. “I’m looking at having a strong Spring Training, a really strong Spring Training. I think it’s a way to bridge the work you did in the offseason to the regular season. I’m taking it seriously. I realy want to perform well in Spring Training and state my case on the field. You want to earn that spot for sure.”
— Carrie Muskat