1000 Words: For starters …

SAMARDZIJA-J-022413-SG-01

(Photo by Stephen Green)

On Sunday, the Cubs announced that right-hander Jeff Samardzija will get the Opening Day start on April 1 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, as Matt Garza is still sidelined with a lat issue. Samardzija, 28, was a full-time starter for the first time in 2012 and finished the season with a compete-game victory over the Pirates in his last outing on Sept. 8. Overall, he went 9-13 with a 3.81 ERA in 28 starts before being shut down to limit his innings.

“From jump street, [Samardzija] had that look in his eye, that determination,” said pitching coach Chris Bosio of the Shark’s transition to the starting rotation. “There was no indication for me that he couldn’t handle it. Conditioning, the way he was talking, video breakdown, things to try, different pitches, being able to adjust into what he wanted to be and what we were looking for—a lot of credit goes to him for working his tail off.”

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