Samardzija the All-Star?
For most of Spring Training, Cubs fans went back and forth over whether Jeff Samardzija would claim a spot in the Cubs rotation. But as the season rolls on and the numbers continue to add up, Samardzija has quietly made a case to earn another spot—one on July’s NL All-Star team. Though the Cubs currently sit at just 18-32, the former Notre Dame two-sport standout has been the anchor of a relatively strong starting staff. In 2012, Samardzija has:
- a 5-3 record (the Cubs are 7-3 in games he started)
- lasted through seven innings in four of his last seven starts and yielded no more than three runs in any of those outings
- 65 strikeouts, sixth in the NL
- 9.14 K/9, seventh in the NL
- a 1.6 WAR (wins above replacement), in the top 10 for NL pitchers
- a .70 HR/9, one of the 20 best in the NL (an impressive number considering the unpredictable winds of Wrigley Field)
- a respectable 3.09 ERA and 1.19 WHIP
Even considering Ryan Dempster’s solid start and Matt Garza’s high ceiling, the hard-throwing Samardzija has become the ace of the Cubs staff for now and likely the future.