Results tagged ‘ Jeff Samardzija ’
Players were razzing Jeff Samardzija on Saturday about being the latest Cubs pitcher to be highlighted in trade rumors, which manager Dale Sveum tried to squash. According to FOX Sports’ and MLB Network’s Ken Rosenthal, the Cubs are listening to offers for Samardzija, 28, although the asking price would be high. The right-hander, who has a 3.94 ERA in 21 starts, has two arbitration years remaining.
“I don’t think that’s going to happen,” Sveum said about dealing Samardzija. “We have control of a guy for 2 1/2 more years. I think think somebody had to throw something out there and was bored and put some silly rumor out there,”
Samardzija didn’t have any inside information.
“We’re in the position where we do what we’re told and go where we’re supposed to go,” Samardzija said. “Obviously, we know when we pitch. I don’t have a no-trade clause or anything like that but I know I’m stil protected and under control for a couple more years. It’s out of my hands, out of my control.”
When Samardzija was drafted in 2006, he signed a five-year, $10 million deal. He had a no-trade clause in that deal and didn’t realize it’s value at first.
“When I had it, and I got to the big leagues and got a feel of what was going on and got a feel for the business side of things, it was an excellent thing to have,” he said. “It allowed me to get situated in the big leagues, know I wasn’t going anywhere, and it put us and the front office on the same page. I knew personally that I was going to be there, no matter what, and I was going to make it work. It also shows your commitment to the team and the city and that you want to be here through and through and that you’re committed to this team.”
His original contract included club option years for 2012 and ’13, and the Cubs declined his option for 2012, and renewed his contract that year at $2.64 million. This year was his first arbitration year, and he avoided arbitration and signed a one-year, $2.64 million deal.
It’s not about the money, he said.
“I don’t put any importance on money anyways,” he said. “Your numbers in baseball speak for themselves. That’s what makes your money, that’s what does everything. … However you perform is how you get paid.
“Money isn’t driving what I do,” he said. “Competition and competing is driving what I do and winning is driving what I do. That’s what it’s all about.”
– Carrie Muskat
According to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, the Cubs are listening to offers for Jeff Samardzija. But Rosenthal says the asking price is high. The 28-year-old right-hander has two arbitration years remaining. He’s compiled a 3.94 ERA in 21 starts this season with a 9.1 strikeout/per nine innings ratio. Theo Epstein has said no player is untouchable, but it would take quite a package to pry Samardzija loose. With the trade of Alfonso Soriano, Samardzija has the longest tenure with the Cubs among players on the 25-man roster.
Nate Schierholtz has been the Cubs most consistent hitter with runners on base for most of the season, and he came through at the right time Wednesday night. Schierholtz drove in a career-high five runs, hitting a three-run homer in the fifth and a game-winning RBI double in the 12th, to lift the Cubs to a 7-6 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks, who are trying to keep pace with the Dodgers in the National League West.
Schierholtz was shut down for the Cubs’ final two games before the All-Star break because of nagging injuries, and admitted Wednesday that the rest helped.
“I’m feeling a lot better now,” Schierholtz said. “The All-Star break definitely helped, and so did the cortisone shot. I feel like I’m doing well now, and I’m trying to help the team.”
With two outs and the game tied at 6 against David Hernandez in the 12th, Anthony Rizzo walked to set up Schierholtz’s double into the left-field corner. Schierholtz’s previous high was three RBIs, done four times, most recently April 23, 2012, against the Mets.
Rizzo and rookie Junior Lake each hit RBI doubles for the Cubs, now 7-3 in extra-inning games this season. Chicago had only reliever Michael Bowden in the bullpen by the 12th.
“We were going to have to have the re-entry rule,” Dale Sveum jokingly said.
Jeff Samardzija scattered six hits over 5 2/3 innings, throwing a season-high 118 pitches. Arizona had two on and two outs in the sixth when he was pulled, and Paul Goldschmidt greeted Blake Parker with a three-run homer, his 22nd, to cut the Cubs’ lead to 6-5.
– Carrie Muskat
David DeJesus is back and starting in center field on Wednesday for the Cubs. Alfonso Soriano is getting a scheduled day off, so don’t read any more into that. Here’s the lineup:
On Monday, Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun was suspended without pay for the remainder of the season for violating the Basic Agreement and its Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. Here’s some reaction from the Cubs:
* Manager Dale Sveum:
“It’s unfortunate for baseball, it’s unfortunate for the Brewers organization. I’m just glad it’s kind of finally over. Now he’s come out and obviously admitted it to the public and apologized. I think it’s the best thing to happen to Braun and the organization. He’ll be able to play Opening Day next year and everything is behind him as well as the organization and the players he let down … and the fans who have supported him for six years in the organization. At least now it’s finished, it’s over and they can move on.”
* Jeff Samardzija:
“It is what it is, I guess. You shouldn’t be taking things you shouldn’t be taking, connected to people you shouldn’t be connected to. Nowadays, you can’t hide from anything. That’s what it tells you is that everything you’re doing is going to be found out and going to be talked about.”
* Alfonso Soriano:
“I think sometimes people don’t realize how good they are. They want to go try something else. I just focus and try to do my job and not pay attention to what happens outside of baseball.
“I remember my first year, maybe people used [PEDs], but they didn’t have tests. Now they have tests and people have to be careful what they use, what they drink. It’s not the money, it’s not the suspension. For me personally, it’s family, friends, fans, what you do to your teammates, all that kind of stuff — the money is not important but how your family, how people want to treat your family, that’s hard. I never want to try to do anything negative because I did something wrong. I don’t want to do anything wrong to make it bad on myself or bad for my family.”
– Carrie Muskat
* Jeff Samardzija made two trips to Wrigley Field over the All-Star break to work with pitching coach Chris Bosio, and the sessions paid off on Friday. He gave up one run over 7 1/3 innings in leading the Cubs to a 3-1 victory over the Rockies.
“If you were to ask me all year how I felt about my mechanics, I’d say they were off all year, to tell you the truth, until today,” Samardzija told reporters in Denver, including MLB.com’s Ian McCue. “So I’m really excited to stop making adjustments and really just work on pitch selection and pitch location.
“I just attacked them and went at it and once I felt like I got them sped up, my splitter was good enough to get me through the rest of the inning,” Samardzija said.
The series-opening victory was the Cubs’ seventh in the last 10. The club is also improved 14 games over .500 when their starter earns a quality start.
Defense saved Chicago from throwing away the lead in the fourth. Michael Cuddyer punched a single to right after Troy Tulowitzki singled to a similar spot, and the Rockies shortstop was at third when a splitter skipped through the legs of catcher Wellington Castillo. But Castillo rifled a throw to Samardzija at home plate with enough velocity to tag out Tulowitzki and end the inning, the Cubs starter tumbling to the ground before walking to the dugout.
”That’s one of those things you don’t write up,” Samardzija said. “It’s just a freak play and it worked out in our favor.”
* Alfonso Soriano leads the Cubs with 17 home runs and 10 stolen bases, and he’s batting .319 (22-for-69) with five doubles, 10 homers, 20 RBI and a 1.169 OPS in his last 17 games since June 28. He has homered in five of his last 10 games, including multi-homer efforts July 6 vs. Pittsburgh and July 9 vs. the Angels.
Soriano is the fifth Cub to have entered the All-Star break with the team lead (or tied for the team lead) in both home runs and stolen bases, joining Augie Galan in 1937, George Altman in 1961, Ryne Sandberg in 1990, and Sammy Sosa in 1993, 1994 and 1998.
In addition to Soriano’s home run totals, he is 13 hits shy of becoming the 273rd player in Major League history to reach 2,000 hits. Only 15 active players have reached the milestone to date (Cleveland’s Jason Giambi has 1,991 hits).
* Junior Lake made his Major League debut Friday as the Cubs’ starting center fielder, going 3-for-4 with a double in his first plate appearance. Lake is the 44th player to appear for the Cubs this season, already just nine players shy of the franchise-record 53 players who appeared last year.
”Since I’ve been here that’s the first kid that’s come up and really looked like a Major Leaguer,” Dale Sveum said. “Was aggressive on the bases, did a great job. Swung the bat really nice.”
Before Friday’s game, Sveum thought about placing the speedy Lake in the leadoff spot. But that plan changed quickly when Lake told his skipper he planned to swing at the first pitch — and true to his words, he did — roping a double down the third-base line.
”I was just positive the whole time,” Lake said through a translator. “I think once you have that mindset going in the game, you’re ready for it and you have that kind of attitude, I think a lot of the things go your way.”
Jeff Samardzija began the season with an impressive Opening Day victory, holding the Pirates to two hits over eight shutout innings. On Wednesday, he ended the first half with what he called a head scratcher. Josh Hamilton smacked two home runs and drove in five runs, Albert Pujols hit his second homer in as many days, and Mark Trumbo belted his team-leading 20th to power the Angels to a 13-2 romp over Samardzija and the Cubs for a split of the Interleague series.
Samardzija struggled from the beginning. He served up a season-high nine runs, including five in the first inning, over 4 2/3 innings, his shortest outing of the season. Samardzija had given up nine earned runs over 35 innings in five starts in May alone.
“Give credit to some really good hitters,” Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. “They get paid a lot of money to hit mistakes and they obviously didn’t miss them tonight.”
“I’ve thrown worst games,” Samardzija said. “I’ve had worst stuff out there. To sit and be totally down isn’t the case. It’s just a little bit more about pitch sequences and getting ahead in the count. I think that’s the big thing for me. When I’m behind in the count, it changes the game a lot. It puts me on my heels and puts them on their toes, and that’s not the way I pitch.”
The Angels piled on with a six-run fifth, sending 12 batters to the plate. It was a struggle for the Cubs, who suffered their most lopsided loss of the season. The Angels recorded 11 extra-base hits for the fourth time in franchise history. They hit the most home runs against Chicago in a game (five) and the most homers in one inning with three in the fifth.
Samardzija’s first half was similiar to last season when he was 6-8 in 17 starts with a 4.71 ERA.
“[Last year] he got out of the gates really well and went into the break struggling a little bit and then the last eight starts he had were awesome,” Sveum said. “I think it’s one of those things now, a little bit of confidence, and trying to do too much when things get out of whack.”
Samardzija’s next start will be the Cubs’ first game after the All-Star break on July 19 against the Rockies. That means he gets an extended rest.
“After today, it’s a great thing,” Samardzija said of the time off. “I’ll take all these days and get back to the drawing board. … I’m excited to take a deep breath these next couple days and use the All-Star break to get some work in.”
On the plus side, the Cubs finished the Interleague portion of their schedule 13-7, and the 13 wins were a single-season franchise record.
This loss will sting.
“You can’t really sugar coat it too much,” Samardzija said. “They kicked my ass today and that’s the way it goes. It’s a resilient game, you’ve got to learn from your mistakes and go from there.”
– Carrie Muskat
Jeff Samardzija gets the start Wednesday as the Cubs wrap up the Interleague part of their schedule against the Angels. It’s a shame they won’t play the American League more. The Cubs are 13-6 against AL teams, matching their win total against the tough National League Central (13-26).
Here’s the lineup:
The Cubs wrap up Interleague play this week, facing the White Sox in a makeup game on Monday and then playing host to the Angels on Tuesday and Wednesday. Here are the pitching matchups:
Monday: RHP Matt Garza (4-1, 3.45) vs. LHP Hector Santiago (3-5, 3.50)
Tuesday: LHP Travis Wood (5-6, 2.69) vs. RHP Joe Blanton (2-10, 5.14)
Wednesday: RHP Jeff Samardzija (5-8, 3.54) vs. LHP C.J. Wilson (8-6, 3.57)
* Last season, the Cubs were careful with Jeff Samardzija, and limited him to 119 innings in his first season as a full-time starter. This year, the right-hander has reached 100 innings before the All-Star break. Any thought to giving him a breather?
“He’s a strong guy,” manager Dale Sveum said Saturday. “Last year, that was the plan we had going in. This year, the kid gloves are off, so to speak. He’ll pitch according to how he feels. He’s a big strong guy and keeps himself in phenomenal condition. He’s a horse. The only thing that gets him in trouble is some frustrations out on the field as well as mechanics. Yesterday his mechanics were all out of whack, and he was missing away, away, away.”
* Sveum says he’s happy with his catching combo of Dioner Navarro and Welington Castillo. Navarro has done better at the plate, batting .291 with eight home runs, 18 RBIs in 42 games, while Castillo was hitting .268 with two home runs and 15 RBIs in 64 games.
“It’s a nice tandem to have,” Sveum said. “It’s not easy to have your backup catcher swinging the bat better than anybody on your team at this point right now.”
Navarro had no lingering problems from Friday’s game when he hit Andrew McCutchen’s bat with his right elbow. Navarro was hit right on the funny bone, which, as everybody knows, isn’t funny, but it hurts. Navarro’s arm went numb.
* Speaking of Navarro, he was excited about the opportunity to meet international soccer star, Lionel Messi, on Saturday. Messi was playing at Soldier Field in an exhibition. Navarro, James Russell, Anthony Rizzo and Hector Rondon were all going to the match. Navarro had at least four shirts and a hat for Messi to autograph.
“My wife said, ‘This is the biggest day of your life,’” said Navarro, who wears a Messi shirt every day before games. “She says, ‘You’re going to see the love of your life.’”
* Looking ahead to the Cubs’ makeup game Monday against the White Sox, Matt Garza (4-1, 3.45 ERA) will start against Hector Santiago (3-5, 3.50 ERA) at U.S. Cellular Field.
– Carrie Muskat