So Jeff Samardzija Throws Pretty Hard

To understand how I feel about Jeff Samardzija, all you need to know about is one play. Does 20-17 say enough to you? In case it doesn’t, here’s a refresher. Anyway, it’s pretty incredible to see the guy go from balling on the football team at Notre Dame to pitching for the Cubs in only two years. As much as I couldn’t stand the guy, Samardzija was a darn good receiver for the Irish. It’s not too often that you see college-level D-I athletes playing more than one sport and playing well at it.

Anyway, after getting drafted in ’06 and going on to pitch in A-ball, Samardzija split his time between A and AA ball last year. This year, Samardzija got promoted from double-A to triple-A ball and even got called up after Kerry Wood went on the disabled list. I don’t know about you, but it pretty much blows my mind to see this guy pitching in the majors leagues so shortly after his college football career came to a close. This is a guy who could be in training camp right now and instead he’s already made the majors. Though he gave up a run to the Marlins in relief and blew the win for Ryan Dempster, the kid looked good humming between 97 and 99 mph. I don’t think he’ll be able to get by on speed alone at the majors (we already saw him get burned by Jorge Cantu), but I think it’s pretty amazing that he’s this talented at two sports. Makes you wonder, why wasn’t he playing quarterback instead of Quinn?

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  • JS

    Why have hard feelings against Smardzija because he did was is expected of a college football receiver, catch the ball. If I were a UCLA fan, I’d have a lot more contempt for the coaching staff that called off a blitz package that harassed Brady Quinn all game to go to a prevent (a victory) defense that allowed Smardzjia time to get open and Quinn time to find him.

    Word in Chicago is that the Cubs love Jeff’s fast ball, but for moment should only be up for a cup of coffee until Woody returns from the DL, and then back to pitch in AAA as a starter and work on pitches to use with that fastball.

  • http://larrybrownsports.com Larry Brown

    Believe me, JS, Samadzija only reminds me of how incompetent the UCLA coaching staff was under Dorrell. You’re exactly right — they completely changed their gameplan that was working for 58 minutes and switched it for the last two. It will be interesting to see how he does as a starter in the majors.