The Daily CCO: Samardzija, Samardzija and More Samardzija

In front of scouts from numerous teams Monday night, Jeff Samardzija settled down after a rough three innings and put together another quality start. Samardzija gave up one run on four hits with two walks, two HBP and seven strikeouts in six innings. And thanks to a scoring change in Miami, Samardzija is 1-2 in his last five starts with a 4.82 ERA and a 1.54 WHIP.

Jeff Samardzija admitted Monday that Dale Sveum’s comments about him pitching well only in big games got to him. Samardzija said it “got under his skin” and motivated him to not “be that guy.” Samardzija told the beat writers that he loves to pitch in big games, however, and in games where he cannot sleep the night before. But he has learned over the last two years that every start is equally important as the other.

As for where he learned to break a bat over his knee, it was not from Carlos Zambrano but probably from his father.

The offense does not support Samardzija when he is on the mound. The Cubs are 3-13 in Samardzija’s 16 starts and are averaging 2.44 runs per game. In games not started by Jeff Samardzija, the Cubs are 28-30 and average 4.17 runs per game.

Jason Hammel

Jason Hammel did not close the door on re-signing with the Cubs in the off-season after he is traded at some point over the next month. Hammel likes pitching for the Cubs and he does not think the Cubs would be opposed to re-signing him.

Hammel told ESPN Chicago, “I would assume they are pretty happy with my body of work so far and if a trade happens it happens. But I guarantee, say I was to go to another team, I love it here. I guarantee you they wouldn’t be opposed to bringing me back next year.”

As for the trade rumors and inevitably being dealt, Jason Hammel admitted he knew this is what he signed on for but pointed out that his wife is “going nuts though.”

News and Notes

Starlin Castro doubled in the fourth inning of Monday’s game … that was his 13th extra basehit in his last 16 games.

Christopher Kamka posted this little tidbit … The Cubs were shut out 12 times in the 190 games Rick Sutcliffe started in a Cubs uniform and 12 times in the 178 games Kerry Wood started. The Cubs have been shut out in 12 of Jeff Samardzija’s 81 starts.

Minor News and Notes

A day after going 3-for-6 with a triple, a home run, a walk and driving in four runs, Gleyber Torres went 1-for-3 with a run scored, a walk and two RBI for the AZL Cubs Monday.

Dan Vogelbach singled in Monday’s game and extended his hitting streak to six games. Vogelbach is hitting .288/.395/.479 in 20 games this month with eight doubles, two home runs and a .875 OPS.

Jefferson Mejia tossed five innings Monday for the AZL Cubs. Mejia gave up two unearned runs on three hits with no walks and nine strikeouts.

Albert Almora returned to the lineup Monday after two days off. Almora went 2-for-4 and is 7-for-22 in his last five games with a double.

Arismendy Alcantara went 2-for-4 Monday with a RBI and has five multi-hit games in his last 10. Alcantara is 13-for-34 with three doubles, one triple, six stolen bases, six walks and seven strikeouts in his last 10 games … .382/.475/.529/1.004. In 22 games this month, Alcantara has put together a .298/.359/.452 slash line with four doubles, three triples, one home run and a .811 OPS.

Promotions generally come with walks according to a report from ESPN Chicago.

Kris Bryant launched his fourth Triple-A homer Monday afternoon and is 4-for-18 in five games with Iowa. All four hits have left the yard and he’s walked twice to go along with eight strikeouts. Bryant’s line after five games … .222/.300/.889/1.189.


This Day In Cubstory

2003 – Cubs pounded six home runs in a 9-1 win over the Brewers. Kerry Wood, Mark Grudzielanek and Alex Gonzalez went back-to-back-to-back in the sixth inning. It was the ninth time in team history the Cubs hit three home runs in a row.

1980 – Cubs released Steve Ontiveros

1930 – In the Cubs 6-1 victory over the Phillies at Wrigley Field, Hack Wilson fouled a pitch into the stands. The ball was caught by 17-year old Arthur Porto. Porto was confronted by an usher who told him the Cubs could not “afford to let the customers walk off with their baseballs” and demanded the return of the baseball. Porto and two friends argued and were arrested by stadium security and charged with disorderly conduct. In court the next day, the judge issued a landmark decision and ruled that a ball hit into the stands belongs “to the boy who grabs it.” The charges were dismissed.

1915 – Heine Zimmerman stole home with two outs in the bottom of the ninth as the Cubs beat the Cardinals 14-13 at West Side Grounds. The Cubs trailed 13-10 going into the ninth. Zimmerman drove in the tying runs with a pinch-hit double.

1907 – The Cubs traded Newt Randall and Bill Sweeney to the Boston Doves for Del Howard

1905 – Ed Reulbach went the distance in a Cubs 2-1 victory over the Cardinals and Jack Taylor 2-1 in 18 innings. Frank Chance had 27 putouts and two assists for the Cubs in St. Louis

1885 – John Clarkson won his 13th  game in a row and the Cubs won their 18th straight with a 12-2 victory over the Phillies at West Side Park

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Quote of the Day

"Every day is a new opportunity. You can build on yesterday’s success or put its failures behind and start over again." – Bob Feller

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  • cubtex

    I think it is just about time to bring up Alcantara and let him play everyday at 2B. Alcantara is hitting .382 with a .475 OBP in his last 10 games. I would also bring up Matt Sczur as well and DFA Ruggiano. Sczur is hitting .324 with a .378 OBP in his last 10 and even though his average is not good……lets see what he can do. It’s not like Ruggiano is doing anything. Let Valbuena and Olt(if they insist on keeping him in the majors) platoon at 3rd.
    In the words of Dennis Green….Valbuena is who we thought he was. I have been very vocal on who he is. He can’t hit. He is a low .200 hitter. His average is down to .266 and falling fast.
    Last 7 days. .045 average
    Last 14 days .235 average

    He hit .190 for the months of July and August of last year. Bring Alcantara up and let him play and play some kids that might be part of the future.

    • cubtex


      Last 7 .000
      Last 14 .167
      Last 28 .212

      Bring up Sczur and see what he can do.

      • Patrick_Schaefer

        If Alcantara comes up it’ll probably be in the Outfield.

        • cubtex

          which I would not get.1. He is a good glove(why move him) 2. No one is blocking him(Barney,Valbuena)
          This is where he has played in AAA this year.

          59 games at 2B
          6 games at SS
          5 games in the OF

          If that is the plan….I don’t get it.

          • Tony_H

            I believe he will be in CF if he gets a call as there is absolutely no one blocking him out there and there are far more options short term and long term for 2B.

          • Jeffrey Rogers

            IMO, Baez will be at 2b, if he ever makes it.

      • Theboardrider

        Agree on Alcantra but I think his long term future is in CF with Baez at 2nd. I’m fine with him being a CF.

    • cc002600

      I love what this guy (alcantara) brings to the table. They could really use a guy with speed, switch hitter, extra base power & good defense. And all this from a player at a premium position (2b). Plus, he seems durable (knock on wood). I hope we see him sometime this year too.

      • cubtex

        bring him up now. They have 31 frickin wins this year. They are tied with Rays with the fewest wins in all of baseball. What is the wait???

        • Tony_H

          What is the hurry? His walk rate is much, much lower this year while his K rate is still high.

          • cubtex

            what was the hurry with Mike Olt to start the year? Same thing. No one blocking him and unlike Olt…he is having success in AAA and this will give him 1/2 a season in the majors to prepare him to start next year with the big boys.

          • Tony_H

            About 3 years in age difference. And you right no one in CF is blocking him.

          • cubtex

            are you seriously implying that they have someone at 2B blocking him? This team has 5 holes to fill. The entire outfield, 3rd and 2nd and possibly catcher.

          • Tony_H

            Short term yes but he could be gone by July 31st. Long term Baez is likely going to go there before Alcantara, no matter if I think Baez should go to 3B, Alcantara to 2B and Bryant to RF.

            I am not as worried about where they play on defense. Get there bat to the majors when ready and defense will sort itself out over time. The flexibility that so many of these guys bring is a huge value to the team.

          • Tony_H

            I saw this today on Alcantara.

            “Alcantara seems to have made a good adjustment to AAA Iowa but some of you may remember that he regressed somewhat to his aggressive approach early in the season. The strikeouts were up, the walks were down. But since mid-May, covering his last 155 PAs, Alcantara has put up the following numbers:

            9.7% walk rate
            9 SBs in 11 attempts
            .267 ISO
            .404 wOBA

            I don’t know what Alcantara’s benchmarks are for a promotion but I would venture a guess that they are something less than that. Given the fact that the Cubs are playing him in CF when there are plenty of other CF’s on the roster makes you think they are finding a spot for that dynamic offensive profile. He’d be like a shot of expresso for an often sleepy Cubs offense.”

          • cubtex

            He swings the bat and gets hits and can run. Something this Cubs team needs desperately.

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  • Theboardrider

    Torres is a player, along with Jimenez, I’ve been excited about since singing. Playing at a position where Castro has it locked down for the foreseeable future. I imagine a lot of teams will keep an eye on him. The depth with players like him will be invaluable once we are competitive and need to swing a trade to acquire a MLB player to impact the roster. Nice position to finally be in.

  • DWalker

    so, does maybe the rest of the team not like shark? It seems really odd the splits for when he is pitching and not for run support, as if when he pitches the rest of the team just shuts down. Makes one wonder if he hasn’t created some tension in the cluhouse that affects things when he pitches.

    • Denver Mike

      I have to admit I am biased because I just can’t stand the guy, but I wouldn’t be shocked at all. Let’s face it, Rizzo and Castro are the extent of the Cubs offense, and while Samardzija didn’t call them out by name he may as well have when he said, “What does drive me is protecting and setting up the players behind me … so that I’m not signing any of these crummy early deals for seven or eight years.”

      Not to mention he just doesn’t seem to be a real likable guy. Is he gone yet?

  • Patrick_Schaefer

    Lake has power and speed and Ruggiano is getting playing time over him. Need to see if he can stick. Either way he is a solid 4th outfielder if we have 3 better options in the future. Speed and power of the bench is always good.