Samardzjia called up, strikes out first batter

Notre Dame football phenom Jeff Samardzjia made his Cubs debut today at Wrigley Field, striking out the first major league batter he faced (Marlin pinch hitter Alfredo Amezaga) with a 97mph heater.  Welcome to the Bigs, kid.

Next batter Hanley Ramirez then singled, stole second, and Samardzjia promptly air-mailed a pitchout for a wild pitch. The rook’s probably rattled a bit which is to be understood. He gave up a single to tie the game in his first inning of work, but the kid did ok, going 1-2-3 in his second inning.  Interesting that Lou brought him in to debut in a tight game – usually a rookie debuts during ‘garbage time’ of a lopsided game.  That shows some confidence in his abilities and character.

Samardzjia was a standout on the vaunted University of Notre Dame football team and was projected as a possible first round NFL pick.  But he chose baseball instead and the Cubs got him with a 5-year, $10 million rookie deal.  He struggled in A and AA ball, but was remarkable at times for AAA Iowa so he gets the brief nod to get a taste of the big leagues in Kerry Wood’s absence.  He (like I wrote about Micah Hoffpauir) won’t be here long, as they say, he’s here for a cup of coffee.  Just a little motivation for him to see what he’s working for – to pitch in front of a packed and rockin’ Wrigley Field. 

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    July 25, 2008   Posted in: players, roster

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