Monday, September 13, 2010

F7 returns!

The Cubs best wide receiver returns to the field tonight.

Jeff Samardzija is back and he will start tonight for the Cubs against the Cardinals in St. Louis.

You can't have a post about Samardzija without a football picture.

I have felt for years that the contract given to Samardzija to ensure he didn't go and play football was a mistake. He has yet to prove me wrong.

After being demoted early this season, he proved to be somewhat inconsistent at Iowa this year assembling a 11-3 record with a 4.37 ERA. In reality, the record says more about his time in AAA than the ERA, as the Pacific Coast League tends to be much more of a hitter friendly league. The bigger problem for Spellcheck is that it appears that he is still having problems finding the strike zone. He was walking batters at a rate of 5.4 per 9 innings pitched. That's horrible. At the same time, he was able to avoid a large number of bats while in exile giving up only 86 hits and striking out 102 in 111 1/3 innings.  The conclusion?  The stuff is good...he just needs to zero in on the strike zone a bit more.

Cubs fans should be watching this game with great interest tonight. Spellcheck has only one more year guaranteed on his contract, and the Cubs should be demanding some results out of their investment at this point. With a rebuilding process well into motion, the Cubs will want to see some significant improvement out of Samardzija over the next 3 weeks because, at this point, if his development has stagnated, there are a number of other young kids who are going to be given a shot at making the team next year, and he will likely be left back in Iowa to finish up his contract with the other career minor leaguers next season (like Micah Hoffpauir and Sam Fuld).

So, Jeff...go out there and prove me wrong tonight. And GO IRISH!  (Stupid Irish couldn't beat Michigan...bastards!  New coach, new players, same crap!)