There is only one week in the books for your 2013 Chicago Cubs.
One week, but we still had plenty of story lines both on and off the field. For starters will the Wrigley renovation deal be announced tomorrow before the home opener? The stadium news may overshadow the game itself and maybe for good reason.
The Cubs (2-4) will limp into the opener tomorrow after getting swept by the Braves. It didn’t have to be that way as they could have easily been (3-3). The starting pitching was terrific and should have faired better. Bill Parcells however, always believed you are what your record is.
Many Cubs fans figure wins and losses aren’t what is paramount for this season, but rather the big picture development. Let’s look at two issues that concern both the present and future.
Is Jeff Samardzija becoming an ace?
This was a guy I wasn’t sure about being in the rotation last spring, who has shown glimpses of being an ace of late. Samardzija was everything I wanted in an opening day starter and was dominant for most of his follow up start. He already has convinced me among many that he can pitch at least at the top of the rotation, how about the very top?
I asked one top NL talent evaluator about that very subject.
“He (Samardzija) still has to prove he can be consistent, he has enough stuff to be an ace. He had too many roles at the beginning of his career but just maybe he is settling in.”
Samarzijia has seemed to be settling into a leadership type role as well. Some may have thought he got caught up in the strikeout record thing but he says that wasn’t his focus at all.
“I just got to finish the ballgame out, especially with a lineup like that,” said Samardzija, who was charged with four runs in 5.2 innings. “You take a deep breath. That team’s going to win 95 games this year. So you need to lock it down the whole time you’re on the mound.”
“Oh, I’ve seen it (Kerry Wood 20K game) about a hundred times in the clubhouse, so I knew what was going on,” Samardzija said. “(But if) you strike out a lot of guys, the pitch count gets up and as a starter your big job is to pitch deep into the game and keep it close. And I failed to do that. So strikeouts or no strikeouts, it doesn’t really matter.”
No matter whatever else happens this season, Samardzija has become something you watch die-hard or not.
What do the Cubs do with Carlos Marmol?
I totally get what the Cubs front office was trying to accomplish by letting Marmol open the season as the closer. The jig is now up and his value will probably never be high enough to matter anymore. I’ve long suspected that Dale Sveum was just being the good solider in running Marmol out there and that ended Sunday.
Where the Cubs crazy to think there would be any value left in Marmol?
I again turned to the same evaluator regarding Marmol.
“Hard to trust him, no matter who they have to turn to. His history tells you he is pitch-to-pitch and inning-to-inning. Appears it is a value thing that they had to use him there”.
Gordon Wittenmyer also cites officials from three other major-league teams said he has no trade value and anticipated little this season. Marmol is in the final year of a deal that pays him $9.8 million this season.
John recently laid out a scenario in which Marmol nets the Cubs a Marlon Byrd like return.
Twitter just wont be the same.
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