|A plethora? Ah . . . no.|
Jeff Samardzija is back on the Cubs' AAAA team, mostly because the AAA team ran out of games. Bruce Levine blogged about Spellcheck's back-and-forth journeys between the majors and minors and the bullpen and starting rotation. He mentioned his hopes that Samardzija remain as a starter, and I'd just like to echo them. First, let's see what Mike Quade has to say on the subject, since it's probably his decision, more or less:
A start's in the offing for him, and we'll just have to see.
Okay, I don't know what that means. I think I need Old Hoss Radbourn to translate. Let me just say that if a start isn't in the offing for Jeff Samardzija, I'd like to give Quade what for! Here's another quote from Carrie Muskat's aforelinked article on the recent call-ups:
The right-hander could start, but the Cubs do have an overload of starters now.
I must disagree with Muskat here. I would not say the Cubs have an overload of starters, nor do they have a plethora.
It would be more accurate to say the Cubs have a plethora of bullpen arms masquerading as starters, and I don't see the harm in adding one more to the mix. Samardzija hasn't exactly accrued a plethora of Major League starts. (I need to stop saying "plethora," so I can stop typing in this ridiculous accent.) He has two starts on the big league level for a total of 8 1/3 innings.
The Cubs don't need another bullpen arm for this season. If Samardzija shows promise as a starter, let's see it now. Give post-heart-surgery Silva some additional rest. Move the third-generation Coleman back to the bullpen. Go to a 10-man rotation. I don't care. Just don't move Samardzija back to the bullpen until it's absolutely necessary.
Confidence isn't everything. You still have to be able to pitch well to succeed as a Major League starter, but Samardzija has shown he has the arm to pitch. If he can gain some big-league confidence, he could be a valuable addition to the rotation. If Quade sends him to the pen, his bruised ego might prevent him from being even a decent middle reliever.
And I think Quade would be in the offing . . . whatever that means.