Chicago White Sox: No worries with Jeff Samardzija
Chicago White Sox Opening Day starter Jeff Samardzija has had a very tough spring when it come to his starts in the Cactus League.
On Friday, he was lit up for six earned runs on seven hits and no walks in six innings pitched. In what was an eventual 6-3 loss to the Chicago Cubs by the White Sox, Samardzija allowed four home runs. In his past two starts, the RHP has allowed seven homers.
His spring ERA is now at 7.79 in 17.1 innings pitched. For most of his career, though, Samardzija’s spring ERA has been high, including last season at 5.14 and in 2011 at 6.00.
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According to Scott Merkin of WhiteSox.com, he quoted Samardzija following the outing, where Samardzija doesn’t seemed too concerned:
"“The majority of pitches were good pitches and located where you want them,” Samardzija said. “But I think you can see in a big league game, when you make mistakes, big league hitters jump on them.”"
I like to believe Samardzija is just not a great spring training pitcher, and he goes out to the mound to work on his pitching or tweak a pitch here or there.
It seems like with the right-handed pitcher, he uses his game time in the spring to just tinker on his game, rather than treat it the same way he would a regular-season start.
The only part of this spring I don’t like about Samardzija is the amount of home runs allowed in his four starts at eight. Also in his four starts, Samardzija has given up 15 earned runs, but has struck out 15 batters as well, including nine on Friday against the Cubs.
Opponents are batting .306 against Samardzija this spring, but again, I’m not overly worried because the spring atmosphere just doesn’t have the same type of feel as a regular-season game will have for the hurler. For that reason alone I can’t take the current stats on the sheet for Samardzija at complete face value.
With most pitchers during the spring, it is all about just working and tinkering on their pitchers, and not worrying about wins or losses when it comes to overall games and stats in the month of March.
Once Opening Day arrives on Monday, April 6 at Kansas City’s Kauffman Stadium against the Kansas City Royals, I expect to see the pitcher starting for the White Sox who had an ERA under 3.00 last season on the mound, not the pitcher we watched on Friday against the Cubs.
Samardzija will be fine for the White Sox … that is the hope, at least.
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