Renteria Meets with the Team, Samardzija Speaks Out and Other Cubs News

Rick Renteria met with his team following Friday’s game. Renteria was not happy with what he saw on the field and labeled the way the Cubs played as “a little sloppy.”

According to a report from Bruce Levine, Renteria was “upset with what he thought was not the best approach to Friday’s game by his club.” Renteria spoke with the team reportedly for “an extra 10 minutes after the game” before addressing the media. Renteria said Jeff Samardzija kept the Cubs in the game, but he thought his team lacked focus. According to ESPN Chicago, “Renteria hammered on the team coming in with a better approach and stronger focus.”

Luis Valbuena told Bruce Levine “the team today looked a little down.”

The front office is frustrated by the sloppy play on the field. Jed Hoyer said during his weekly spot on the Kap & Haugh Show (87.7 The Game) on Friday morning, “No one wants to watch sloppy baseball.” Hoyer admitted they’ve been trying to get the team to play clean baseball for the last two-plus years, but they have not been able to yet.

Jeff Samardzija

Jeff Samardzija’s days with the Cubs are numbered and depending on the report and the reporter, Jeff Samardzija could be dealt any day now or at least by July 31. Samardzija is not going to sign a long term extension to stay with the Cubs based on comments in a report from Comcast SportsNet.

Samardzija was asked, “Given the way teams keep locking up young players with long-term extensions, do you feel a responsibility inside the union?”

“Without a doubt. I’ve said it before: Personally, numbers and money don’t really drive me. What drives me is protecting and setting up the players behind me, the future generations, so that I’m not signing any of these crummy early deals for seven or eight years. When you’re hitting you prime and you’re hitting free agency – like it’s supposed to be done – then that’s the way it sets up for guys behind you. I definitely have a responsibility to the players that are younger than me and approaching arbitration or approaching free agency to keep the numbers where they should be. And rising as they should be, in accordance to the economy and state of the game. That’s more important than anything else – what you owe the players that did it for you and then the players behind you.”

Mark Gonzales stated his case on why he thinks the Cubs should sign Samardzija to an extension. The number one pitcher on the Cubs’ staff does not have the wear and tear on his arm that most 29-year olds have, plus he “has accepted a bigger role” on the team. Samardzija has shown improvement on the field with consistent starts in each of the last seven times he’s taken the hill.

Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer are on record saying they feel Samardzija’s best days are ahead of him. But the two sides are not going to negotiate a contract during the season, at least that’s what has been said publicly, so if that is the case the front office will have to maximize the return on the biggest trade chip they have left.

Jeff Samardzija posted his fourth quality start of the season on Friday and seventh straight quality start dating back to last season according to Bruce Miles. Samardzija’s last win came on August 24 in San Diego and he has allowed 11 earned runs in his last seven starts after surrendering six runs on eight hits to the Reds on Sept. 11.

Jake Arrieta

Jake Arrieta threw a side session at Wrigley Field on Friday so pitching coach Chris Bosio could gauge his progress. Arrieta is supposed to make one more rehab start before being activated from the DL. Arrieta’s outing with the I-Cubs should be on Monday and if all goes well he could come of the disabled list at some point next weekend while the team is in Milwaukee (April 25-27).

Jeff Hoffman

Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer were at East Carolina University’s game on Thursday night to get a look at RHP Jeff Hoffman. The 6-foot-4, 192-pound right hander pitched eight shutout innings and struck out a career high 16 batters in a 1-0 victory over Middle Tennessee. Hoffman picked up at least one strikeout in each of his eight innings and retired 10 of the last 11 batters he faced.

Hoffman throws a mid-90s fastball that has hit 98 mph on the gun with what has been described as good life. Hoffman features a power 12-6 curveball and a mid-to-upper 80s change-up “with fade and dive.”

Jed Hoyer spoke about the upcoming draft and watching Hoffman pitch on Friday morning during his weekly spot on David Kaplan’s show (Kap & Haugh Show, 87.7 The Game). Hoyer said when drafting a pitcher, and if everything is equal, it is better to take a College arm than a high school pitcher. The preference would be to select a pitcher that is closer to the big leagues, plus a College pitcher has been healthier three years longer than a high schooler. There is more of an injury risk with a high school pitcher. And there is more data on a College pitcher where a team does not know how a high school pitcher will hold up to the additional workload of professional baseball.

News and Notes

Former Cubs hurler Casey Coleman signed a minor league contract with the Kansas City Royals.

According to Jon Paul Morosi, the Cubs are tied with the Tigers for the second most stolen bases allowed this season (17), one fewer than the Diamondbacks (18). The Cubs allowed the Reds to steal five bases on Friday, with only one coming from Billy Hamilton.

Bruce Miles posted a reminder the Cubs 4-11 start to the season matches the 2012 team and is one worse than last year’s 5-10 start after 15 games.

According to a report from Patrick Mooney, C.C. Sabathia was interested in signing with the Cubs after the 2008 season and his agent spoke with the Cubs.

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