Biographical

Portrait of Jeff Samardzija

Jeff Samardzija PAthletics

Athletics Player Cards | Athletics Team Audit | Athletics Depth Chart

2014 Projections (Preseason PECOTA - seasonal age 29)
IP ERA WHIP SO W L SV WARP
163.0 4.08 1.38 147 10 8 1 0.5
Birth Date1-23-1985
Height6' 5"
Weight225 lbs
Age29 years, 9 months, 0 days
BatsR
ThrowsR
-0.52010
0.82011
2.32012
2.42013
2.42014
+proj
WARP Summary

Standard

YEAR TEAM AGE G GS IP IP-SP IP-RP W L SV BS QS BQS PA H R ER HR TB BB UBB HBP SO ERA FIP FRA VORP WARP
2008 CHN 23 26 0 27.7 0.0 27.7 1 0 1 4 0 0 124 24 12 7 0 29 15 13 1 25 2.28 3.03 3.97 4.8 0.5
2009 CHN 24 20 2 34.7 8.3 26.3 1 3 0 0 0 0 161 46 29 29 7 82 15 14 1 21 7.53 5.85 6.56 -3.1 -0.3
2010 CHN 25 7 3 19.3 16.0 3.3 2 2 0 0 1 0 100 21 22 18 4 39 20 19 2 9 8.38 8.28 8.24 -4.8 -0.5
2011 CHN 26 75 0 88.0 0.0 88.0 8 4 0 3 0 0 380 64 35 29 5 95 50 47 5 87 2.97 3.63 3.87 7.0 0.8
2012 CHN 27 28 28 174.7 174.7 0.0 9 13 0 0 17 0 723 157 79 74 20 259 56 54 4 180 3.81 3.59 4.11 19.6 2.3
2013 CHN 28 33 33 213.7 213.7 0.0 8 13 0 0 19 1 914 210 109 103 25 338 78 75 8 214 4.34 3.75 4.10 25.4 2.4
2014 CHN 29 17 17 108.0 108.0 0.0 2 7 0 0 12 0 449 99 44 34 7 148 31 28 6 103 2.83 3.07 3.91 10.3 1.1
2014 OAK 29 16 16 111.7 111.7 0.0 5 6 0 0 11 3 430 92 42 39 13 151 12 12 4 99 3.14 3.33 4.17 7.1 0.8
Career22299777.7632.3145.33648176043281713372333811141277262317383.853.734.2766.37.1

Advanced

'opp' stats - Quality of opponents faced - have been moved and are available only as OPP_QUAL in the Statistics reports now.
Minor league stats are currently shownClick to hide.
YEAR Team Lg G GS IP FRA FRA+ TAv oppAVG oppOBP oppSLG oppTAv BABIP PPF PVORP PWARP VORP WARP
2008 CHN MLB 26 0 27.7 3.97 119 .234 .266 .330 .432 .266 .289 105 5.1 0.5 4.8 0.5
2009 CHN MLB 20 2 34.7 6.56 57 .319 .261 .331 .421 .264 .333 102 -4.7 -0.5 -3.1 -0.3
2010 CHN MLB 7 3 19.3 8.24 -2 .350 .248 .325 .387 .272 .262 93 -6.1 -0.6 -4.8 -0.5
2011 CHN MLB 75 0 88.0 3.87 109 .235 .256 .319 .397 .261 .253 102 8.3 0.9 7.0 0.8
2012 CHN MLB 28 28 174.7 4.11 103 .248 .254 .314 .398 .259 .296 98 19.0 2.0 19.6 2.3
2013 CHN MLB 33 33 213.7 4.10 103 .261 .251 .312 .394 .257 .314 105 22.3 2.4 25.4 2.4
2014 CHN MLB 17 17 108.0 3.91 99 .252 .246 .305 .374 .256 .306 97 7.4 0.8 10.3 1.1
2014 OAK MLB 16 16 111.7 4.17 95 .228 .254 .315 .395 .266 .262 96 7.1 0.8 7.1 0.8

Statistics For All Levels

Minor league stats are currently shownClick to hide.
Year Team Lg W L SV G GS IP H BB SO HR GB% BABIP H/9 BB/9 HR/9 K/9 WHIP ERA VORP WARP
2008 CHN MLB 1 0 1 26 0 27.7 24 15 25 0 47% .289 7.8 4.9 0.0 8.1 1.41 2.28 4.8 0.5
2009 CHN MLB 1 3 0 20 2 34.7 46 15 21 7 44% .333 11.9 3.9 1.8 5.5 1.76 7.53 -3.1 -0.3
2010 CHN MLB 2 2 0 7 3 19.3 21 20 9 4 30% .262 9.8 9.3 1.9 4.2 2.12 8.38 -4.8 -0.5
2011 CHN MLB 8 4 0 75 0 88.0 64 50 87 5 43% .253 6.5 5.1 0.5 8.9 1.30 2.97 7.0 0.8
2012 CHN MLB 9 13 0 28 28 174.7 157 56 180 20 46% .296 8.1 2.9 1.0 9.3 1.22 3.81 19.6 2.3
2013 CHN MLB 8 13 0 33 33 213.7 210 78 214 25 50% .314 8.8 3.3 1.1 9.0 1.35 4.34 25.4 2.4
2014 OAK MLB 5 6 0 16 16 111.7 92 12 99 13 49% .262 7.4 1.0 1.0 8.0 0.93 3.14 7.1 0.8
2014 CHN MLB 2 7 0 17 17 108.0 99 31 103 7 54% .306 8.2 2.6 0.6 8.6 1.20 2.83 10.3 1.1

Plate Discipline

YEAR PITCHES ZONE_RT SWING_RT CONTACT_RT Z_SWING_RT O_SWING_RT Z_CONTACT_RT O_CONTACT_RT SW_STRK_RT
2008 453 0.4967 0.4204 0.8211 0.5822 0.2588 0.9084 0.6271 0.1789
2009 604 0.5050 0.4842 0.8493 0.6721 0.2910 0.8878 0.7586 0.1404
2010 370 0.4973 0.3838 0.8451 0.5870 0.1828 0.8889 0.7059 0.1549
2011 1517 0.4806 0.4491 0.7688 0.6241 0.2843 0.8418 0.6205 0.2297
2012 2757 0.5147 0.4927 0.7526 0.6667 0.3079 0.8288 0.5777 0.2467
2013 3420 0.4868 0.4712 0.7716 0.6486 0.3026 0.8667 0.5782 0.2259
2014 3327 0.5230 0.4899 0.7736 0.6270 0.3396 0.8634 0.5918 0.2258
Career124480.50350.47450.77530.64070.30570.85760.60120.223

Injury History

Date On Date Off Transaction Days Games Side Body Part Injury Severity Surgery Date Reaggravation

Compensation

Year Team Salary
2015 OAK $
2014 CHN $5,345,000
2013 CHN $2,640,000
2012 CHN $2,640,000
2011 CHN $3,500,000
2010 CHN $3,000,000
2009 CHN $1,000,000
YearsDescriptionSalary
5 yrPrevious$12,780,000
2011Current$5,345,000
6 yrPvs + Cur$18,125,000
6 yrTotal$18,125,000

 

Service TimeAgentContract Status
4 y 28 dMark Rodgers, Sam Samardzija1 year/$5.345M (2014)

Details
  • 1 year/$5.345M (2014). Re-signed by Chicago Cubs 2/8/14 (avoided arbitration). Acquired by Oakland in trade from Chicago Cubs 7/4/14.
  • 1 year/$2.64M (2013). Re-signed by Chicago Cubs 1/18/13 (avoided arbitration). Performance bonuses.
  • 1 year/$2.64M (2012). Re-signed by Chicago Cubs 3/12.
  • 5 years/$10M (2007-11), plus 2012-13 club options. Re-signed Major League contract with Chicago Cubs 1/07 (chose baseball over football). $2.5M signing bonus. Total value may increase to $16.5M with options. No-trade protection. Optioned to A 3/07.
  • Drafted by Chicago Cubs 2006 (5-149) (Notre Dame). Signed 6/06, $7.25M signing bonus ($1M base, increasing if he chooses baseball over football).

2014 Preseason Forecast

Last Update: 3/11/2014 05:35 ET

PCT W L SV G GS IP H BB SO HR BABIP WHIP ERA FRA VORP WARP
90o 10.9 10.5 0 30 30 207.2 171 69 187 24 .283 1.16 3.38 3.67 27.5 2.8
80o 10.6 11.1 0 30 30 200.8 175 71 181 24 .293 1.22 3.72 4.04 18.9 1.9
70o 10.3 11.5 0 30 30 196.3 177 71 177 24 .301 1.26 3.97 4.31 12.8 1.3
60o 10 11.9 0 30 30 192.5 179 72 174 25 .307 1.30 4.18 4.55 7.5 0.8
50o 9.8 12.3 0 30 30 189.0 180 73 171 25 .313 1.34 4.39 4.77 2.8 0.3
40o 9.6 12.7 0 30 30 185.5 182 73 168 25 .319 1.38 4.59 4.99 -1.8 -0.2
30o 9.3 13.1 0 30 30 181.8 183 74 164 25 .326 1.42 4.81 5.23 -6.6 -0.7
20o 9 13.6 0 30 30 177.5 185 75 161 25 .333 1.46 5.08 5.52 -12.3 -1.3
10o 8.5 14.3 0 30 30 171.7 187 76 155 26 .344 1.53 5.45 5.92 -19.7 -2.0
Weighted Mean9.812.303030189.11797317125.3121.334.374.753.20.3

Diagnostics

Breakout Rate Improve Rate Collapse Rate Attrition Rate MLB %
27% 42% 21% 15% 77%

Long-Term Forecast (Beyond the 2014 Projections)

Playing time estimates are based on performance, not Depth Charts.
Year Age W L SV G GS IP H BB SO HR GB% BABIP WHIP ERA FRA H/9 BB/9 K/9 HR/9 WARP
2015305501313777230731044.3141.334.314.698.53.58.61.20.2
2016314501111666627581044.3151.414.935.359.03.77.91.4-0.3
2017325501313757329661044.3141.364.524.918.83.57.91.20.0
201833440111166632557944.3101.344.444.838.63.47.81.20.1
2019343409956552249844.3131.384.605.008.83.57.91.3-0.0
2020353409953522146844.3151.394.725.138.93.67.91.4-0.1
2021363308847471840744.3141.374.685.098.93.47.61.3-0.1
2022373307743421637644.3141.354.625.028.83.37.71.3-0.0
2023382307740391534644.3141.364.655.058.83.47.71.4-0.0

Upside By Year

2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 PEAK 5
24.911.514.312.37.5870.6

Comparable Players (Similarity Index 80)

Rank Score Name Year Run Average Trend
1 90 Manny Parra 2012 5.98
2 87 Felipe Paulino 2013 0.00 DNP
3 87 Chris Capuano 2008 0.00 DNP
4 86 Tom Gorzelanny 2012 3.38
5 85 Boof Bonser 2011 0.00 DNP
6 85 Wil Ledezma 2010 7.32
7 84 Jorge De La Rosa 2010 4.51
8 84 Cliff Lee 2008 2.74
9 83 J.A. Happ 2012 4.85
10 83 Melido Perez 1995 5.97
11 83 Casey Fossum 2007 8.41
12 82 Brandon Claussen 2008 0.00 DNP
13 82 Len Barker 1985 6.72
14 82 Jeff Karstens 2012 4.07
15 82 Jonathan Sanchez 2012 8.35
16 82 Ray Culp 1971 4.01
17 81 Jeremy Bonderman 2012 0.00 DNP
18 81 Mike Wood 2009 0.00 DNP
19 81 Andy Sonnanstine 2012 0.00 DNP
20 81 Luke Hochevar 2013 1.92
21 81 Pete Vuckovich 1982 3.86
22 81 Dwight Gooden 1994 6.97
23 81 Chad Gaudin 2012 5.06
24 81 Jason Vargas 2012 3.85
25 81 Wandy Rodriguez 2008 4.26
26 81 Chris Short 1967 2.44
27 81 Glen Perkins 2012 3.20
28 81 Francisco Liriano 2013 3.02
29 81 Steve Carlton 1974 3.65
30 80 Bill Singer 1973 3.54
31 80 Ervin Santana 2012 5.46
32 80 Edgar Gonzalez 2012 5.04
33 80 Brett Myers 2010 3.54
34 80 J.P. Howell 2012 3.04
35 80 Jon Leicester 2008 0.00 DNP
36 80 Rich Harden 2011 5.23
37 80 Ted Higuera 1987 4.13
38 80 Joel Hanrahan 2011 2.23
39 80 Nate Robertson 2007 4.96
40 80 Jim Lonborg 1971 4.62
41 80 Ryan Rowland-Smith 2012 0.00 DNP
42 80 Erik Hanson 1994 4.40
43 80 Armando Galarraga 2011 7.38
44 79 Juan Gutierrez 2013 4.72
45 79 Bartolo Colon 2002 3.28
46 79 Mark Gardner 1991 4.17
47 79 Mickey Lolich 1970 4.13
48 79 Dontrelle Willis 2011 5.00
49 79 Brian Burres 2010 5.45
50 79 Carl Erskine 1956 4.44
51 79 Jack Sanford 1958 4.93
52 79 Gaylord Perry 1968 2.88
53 79 Joe Gibbon 1964 4.12
54 79 Don Drysdale 1966 3.75
55 79 Lenny DiNardo 2009 11.81
56 79 Johnny Podres 1962 4.27 DNP
57 79 Don Elston 1958 3.24
58 79 Robinson Tejeda 2011 6.14
59 79 Don Newcombe 1955 3.97
60 79 Dustin Nippert 2010 4.45
61 79 Jose Santiago 1970 10.32
62 79 Andy Benes 1997 3.25
63 79 Jack Harshman 1957 4.64
64 79 Juan Pizarro 1966 4.97
65 79 Garrett Olson 2013 0.00 DNP
66 79 Carlos Villanueva 2013 4.06
67 78 Ed Halicki 1980 5.52
68 78 Alejandro Pena 1988 2.77
69 78 Mario Soto 1986 5.23
70 78 Jason Berken 2013 0.00 DNP
71 78 Sonny Siebert 1966 3.32
72 78 Jeff Niemann 2012 4.03
73 78 Ike Delock 1959 3.62
74 78 Dennis Leonard 1980 4.05
75 78 Seth McClung 2010 0.00 DNP
76 78 Tim Belcher 1991 3.27
77 78 Jason Hammel 2012 3.66
78 78 Shaun Marcum 2011 3.77
79 78 Billy Pierce 1956 3.52
80 78 Kelly Downs 1990 3.71
81 78 David Cone 1992 3.28
82 78 Jim Gott 1989 0.00
83 78 Tom Underwood 1983 4.29
84 78 Pete Harnisch 1996 4.76
85 78 Chan Ho Park 2002 5.87
86 78 Blake Hawksworth 2012 0.00 DNP
87 78 John Tudor 1983 4.54
88 78 Darren Dreifort 2001 5.89
89 78 Micah Owings 2012 3.72
90 77 Edinson Volquez 2013 6.02
91 77 Gil Meche 2008 4.19
92 77 Harvey Haddix 1955 5.71
93 77 Charlie Morton 2013 3.96
94 77 Andy Messersmith 1975 2.57 DNP
95 77 Mike Moore 1989 3.05
96 77 David Wells 1992 6.30
97 77 Mike Hartley 1991 4.32
98 77 Matt Wise 2005 3.50
99 77 Steve Hamilton 1964 3.58
100 77 Erik Hiljus 2002 6.90

Platoon

SORT_FIELD PLATOON AVG OBP SLG TAv
10 vs L (Multi) .255 .332 .437 .273
11 vs R (Multi) .243 .310 .370 .241
18 Split (Multi) .012 .022 .068 .032
19 LgAvg (Multi) .010 .024 .026 .019
30 vs L (2013) .266 .336 .447 .282
31 vs R (2013) .246 .316 .379 .242
38 Split (2013) .020 .020 .068 .040
39 LgAvg (2013) .010 .022 .028 .019

BP Annual Player Comments

YearComment
2014 Due to publishing agreements, the 2014 player comments and team essays are only available in the Baseball Prospectus 2014 book (available in hardcopy, e-book, and Kindle).
2013 The only thing more baffling about Samardzija than his last name is how he went from being a bullpen failure to a credible setup man to one of the few bright spots in the Cubs starting rotation. Samardzija, called “Shark” by people who would rather not navigate that minefield, has always had an impressive fastball. He just had no idea where it was going, and his secondary pitches lacked polish. It's an open question which Samardzija shows up this year, the capable starter or the middling-to-poor pitcher he's been in the past. Given his history, nobody should be surprised whatever he does.
2012 “Shark” Samardzija is one of the more high-profile cases of a failed starting pitcher turning into an effective reliever, with his struggles constantly invoking questions about whether the former Notre Dame wide receiver chose the right sport. As a reliever, he was able to add a couple mph to his fastball and he continued using all four of his pitches en route to racking up a high innings total. As with Marmol, he walked far too many batters, but the .200 batting average allowed and sub-.300 slugging percentage allowed made him highly effective anyway. A bit of luck on balls in play indicates that Samardzija wasn't pitching as well as his stats, and the Cubs declined a relatively light $3 million option, with the expectation of signing him for less per year and more years.
2011 After Angel Guzman's shoulder exploded, the Cubs needed a live-armed righty in the worst way. No problem—they had their expensive wonderboy, Samardzija, so here at last would be his big opportunity. Three bad April ballgames later, whatever lukewarm enthusiasm for keeping him had curdled into disgust and a return trip to Iowa. By June, they'd come to the desultory decision to put him back in the rotation to see if increased innings would lead to good things, but even the addition of a new cutter didn't produce consistent success. As hard as Samardzija has worked to improve his breaking stuff, it just hasn't been enough to make his fastball any less fast, fat, and flat. Armed with nothing he can reliably fire for a quality strike, he's a latter-day Todd Van Poppel, not really a reliable asset as a set-up man or a starter, but one who might be able to help out in the middle innings. There's no point in bitching about the money long since spent to buy him away from football; that mistake has been made. He's out of options and has no-trade protection, so he'll have to make the team or disappear on waivers, where he's almost sure to get snagged. Here's hoping the Cubs don't make the mistake Oakland made with Van Poppel and simply discard him, because if they can set aside the regret and the frustration, he might have value as a middle man.
2010 Remember that FM transmitter you bought to play your iPod in the car, the one you paid early-adopter prices for, the one you kept telling yourself was a good buy, even though static would bleed into your New Wave Ultramix twice per commute and you’d risk your life futzing with the tuner in search of a clear channel? That’s Jeff Samardzija. Four years after the Cubs sprayed him with the money hose to keep the former Notre Dame wideout from working weekends in the fall, there’s precious little to show he was worth the investment. With a loud but straight fastball, inconsistent secondary stuff, and an unremarkable strikeout rate, no amount of squinting makes him resemble a major-league starter. Regardless, he’ll come to camp aiming for a rotation spot and will get a long look—because, you know, he was a good buy.
2009 Believers are no doubt still worked up over the former Domer wideout making it to The Show and shining in August, but as much as his obvious gifts—high-90s heat and a plus slider—were on display, when the calendar flipped to September, Cubs fans got to see the maddening inconsistency and wildness that makes him something less than a sure thing. Samardzija is an inconsistent mechanical mess who gets sloppy, turning sizzling stuff into offerings both flat and fat. If he irons that out, he'll give the organization the last laugh on everyone who second-guessed his $10 million deal to give up football—ourselves among them.
2008 A mystery wrapped in an enigma, 2006 fifth-round pick Samardzija received one of the largest total dollar packages in draft history, then proceeded to get lambasted in the Florida State League last year before pitching a little better at Double-A. On pure talent, most teams saw Samardzija as a late-first-round talent. The Cubs had to buy him out of an NFL career, but that doesn't necessarily mean they should have (though it continued the Cubs' trend of overpaying for Notre Dame talent and/or clients of agent Mark Rodgers). A few hundred thousand here or there to get Samardzija into the system would have made sense, but the Cubs paid $7.25 million for a $1 million arm, and that's indefensible. Samardzija's scouting reports remain excellent, as he's big, extremely athletic, and touches 98 mph with his fastball. That said, scouts have little explanation as to why he simply doesn't miss any bats. Sure, his secondary pitches could use improvement, but they're not awful, and yes he could add a little movement to his fastball, but it's got plenty of zip. For every insider who thinks Samardzija could become a dominant big leaguer, there's one who thinks he'll never get out of the minors.
2007 Based on what we`ve actually seen--30 okay innings in the low minors, with pitiful translated strikeout rates--there`s no way Jeff Samardzija should be in this book. He throws 96, which is why baseball wants him, but at this point his fastball is laser-straight and hittable for all its speed. His breaking pitches are all over the place, and he doesn`t have the experience or training in baseball to make adjustments. Still, this may be his only chance to be in a baseball book, especially if an NFL team makes him a better offer to play wideout than the $7.5 million signing bonus the Cubs have offered him to commit to baseball.

BP Articles

Jeff Samardzija is referenced in the following articles.

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BP Chats

DateQuestionAnswer
2014-10-03 11:00:00 (link to chat)I'm reading a lot of comments that the Cespedes/Lester trade was a bad deal for Oakland. But I still think the Russell/Samardzija trade is the one that will haunt them. Your thoughts?
(Jim from St Paul)
A superficial (but still emotionally compelling) answer is: Lester pitched in a playoff game. There's a decent chance Samardzija never will, either because he's traded this offseason or because the A's don't quite have enough next year, sans a middle infield, a left fielder, a catcher who can be counted on defensively, a center fielder who can play even close to every day, etc. etc. etc. etc.

But more importantly, in the wake of the Cespedes/Lester trade, it became clear that Cespedes wasn't going to be in Oakland in 2015 no matter what. The question was what they could get back for him in the offseason vs. midyear 2014, and while the classic trade would have been to get prospects back for him, it's hardly unforgivable to instead take a two-month maybe-ace and add him to what was looking at the time like a real shot at a World Series trophy.

I'd hope it goes unsaid that all the bunk about how the Cespedes trade killed the A's offense is bunk. John Jaso's concussion and Brandon Moss' hip and Coco Crisp's neck and Stephen Vogt's foot, along with that unfortunate few weeks where both Jed Lowrie and Nick Punto were hurt at the same time all have a lot more to do with the A's regression in run-scoring than the mystical Cespedes and his magical protection abilities.

That said, if Jeff Samardzija pitches 2015 for the A's and pitches it as well as he did in 2014 for the A's (that 8:1 K:BB ratio is incredible) and Oakland gets back to the playoffs again despite looking for all the world like 2014 was the last gasp, then even that trade won't look quite so bad. (Jason Wojciechowski)
2014-10-03 11:00:00 (link to chat)Where do you think the A's go from here? Give it 1 more shot, or look to quasi re-build by getting rid of Jeff Samardzija, Josh Donaldson, etc?
(Shawnykid23 from CT)
Everybody is bad at predicting what Billy Beane is going to do in a given offseason. We're all horrible at it. I bet even David Forst and Farhan Zaidi have running bets between them about what's going to happen at work that day, and they're even.

So on the one hand, the A's have some serious holes and no obvious ways to fill them because their usual method ("trade all the prospects!" (by "usual," I mean "the last two years" and I'm assuming Beane won't zag just yet, which of course means he will)) is exhausted. On the other hand, the team signed Coco Crisp through at least 2016 (vesting option in '17), and why get the jump on that rather than wait-and-see if you don't intend to take your shots?

So I don't know, but my working assumption is that the A's aren't going to be selling, though I admit some intellectual curiosity regarding how much they could get back for Josh Donaldson, a player with three years of team control left, but no long-term deal signed, a late bloomer (next year is his age-29 season) and so his best years aren't ahead of him, an MVP candidate for two straight years now with a good offense+defense profile. I love rooting for him, so emotionally I don't want him to go anywhere, but if I were a fan of any other team, I'd want to see a trade just for the "what does that prospect package look like?" question. (Jason Wojciechowski)
2014-06-11 12:00:00 (link to chat)What jerseys are the following players wearing on August 1st- David Price, James Shields, Jeff Samardzija?
(Shawnykid23 from CT)
...is a question I would like to know the answer to!

I'm going to guess Price and Shields don't get traded. The Rays will ask for a ton a ton a ton and the Royals won't want to give up on their season. Samardzija will get dealt and I'll say to the Orioles. Or maybe the Blue Jays. Or maybe the Brewers. Or the Giants. Or the (Matthew Kory)
2014-05-13 11:00:00 (link to chat)Is Jeff Samardzija success a reality?...Or is he still just a football player pretending to be a pitcher?
(Mike Evans from North Side)
It's clearly a reality based on a large sample. (Jason Parks)
2014-05-13 11:00:00 (link to chat)Jeff Samardzija for Mookie Betts and Henry Owens. Who says no?
(JMR from Chicago)
The Cubs? (Jason Parks)
2014-05-07 17:00:00 (link to chat)Jeff Samardzija, Javier Baez, and Archie Bradley for Jose Fernandez...in an 18 team keeper league...who says no?
(msimotes from Kalamazoo)
Seems like a trade where I'd want to try and hold onto Baez or Bradley and move them in another dump deal, but that's how my leagues roll for dump deals. Every league is different. (Mike Gianella)
2014-04-29 13:00:00 (link to chat)Need help! I got offered Javier Baez, Archie Bradley, and Jeff Samardzija for Jose Fernandez...This is in a 20 team keeper league in which I am in first and the winner gets $2K...What do I do?
(msimotes from Kalamazoo)
If you want to win this year then don't give away the best player. I'd ask the Bat Signal guys, though, just to be sure. (R.J. Anderson)
2014-02-26 19:00:00 (link to chat)You're the Cub inside scoop guy - odds of shark being dealt by opening day? And when they do can that actually land a good, possible #1 arm?
(Mac from Chicago)
It's off the board. Rumors are pretty quiet right now but they tend to heat up whenever Jeff Samardzija is involved. #1 Arms are rare as hell, I don't see them netting a top tier arm for Shark, but with this FO you never know. (Mauricio Rubio)
2014-01-14 13:00:00 (link to chat)What are your thoughts on Jeff Samardzija? No 2 pitcher or good no 3?
(Jon from Chicago)
I think good 3, but with potential to have some 2-level seasons. There's a reason he was so highly sought after in this trade market. (Paul Sporer)
2013-12-10 18:00:00 (link to chat)Any SPs you think will breakout in 2014?
(Shawnykid23 from CT)
I have been down on him for years, but I think this might be the year that Jeff Samardzija puts it all together and finally becomes a solid #2 at the very least. If he gets the innings, Danny Salazar is another guy I really like; he could strike out a batter an inning with some pretty nice overall numbers. Zack Wheeler is another candidate. This is a guy where you should ignore the peripherals (FIP, FRA, etc.) and look at the ability. Wheeler is a potential stud. Maybe I'm a year off on him, but keep in mind that some scouts liked him better than Matt Harvey when he came up. That doesn't mean that Wheeler will be 2013 Harvey good (that's silly), but he could be a pretty fine pitcher in his own right. (Mike Gianella)
2013-10-23 13:00:00 (link to chat)What are your expectations for Jeff Samardzija in 2014? He got off to a fairly impressive start this year, but still hasn't seemed to put it all together.
(justarobert from Santa Clara)
Something like a middle of the rotation starter. Come to think of it, perhaps he'll be on the move this winter. (R.J. Anderson)
2013-08-12 14:00:00 (link to chat)Thanks for chatting with us, Doug! Could you go into a little more detail on the mechanics behind the timing issue Jeff Samardzija's been battling? How long does it usually take pitchers with a similar timing issue to iron the problem out? Thanks, I appreciate your work!
(GoneTroutFishin from Germantown, TN)
Lots of Shark questions in the queue!

Samardzija has been struggling to hit targets due to his issues with timing, a fine-grained element that comes down to hundredths of a second. Fixing it can take a matter of minutes or a span of months, depending on the player, but the fix is often fleeting as pitchers can lose their timing within an inning only to get it back again. Timing is simultaneously the most important and the most difficult mechanical element to perfect.

When a pitcher consistently struggles with timing, it tends to boil down to two elements that are intertwined: A) the pitcher's momentum from leg lift through foot strike, and B) the timing of trunk rotation, relative to foot strike. If a pitcher is too quick into foot strike, then the trigger of trunk rotation (and thus the arm) will be late in relation. In Samardzija's case, it looks like his momentum is the key factor in his timing issues, including his initiation of momentum as well as his gear-change at maximum leg lift. So he has some work to do to get right, but it could happen quickly.

On the jukebox: Dredg, "Spitshine" (Doug Thorburn)
2013-08-08 17:30:00 (link to chat)SHARK FIN SOUP?! What's wrong with the Shark? Have we been overrating him?
(Cal Guy from Cal)
I don't know if there's anything "wrong" with Jeff Samardzija. He has always been a high strikeout pitcher who is prone to inconsistency. I've never been a big Shark fan. He's a guy who roll with when he's hot but the bad times almost always come. (Mike Gianella)
2013-06-20 13:00:00 (link to chat)Can you name a non-ace or two in the NL whom you expect to be better in the second half?
(Jason from Not leaving yet)
Better meaning they've pitched and failed. Lance Lynn, Jeff Samardzija, Homer Bailey, Edwin Jackson, Dillon Gee (already surging), Brandon McCarthy & Ryan Vogelsong when healthy, and keep an eye on Tom Koehler who is throwing tonight. (Paul Sporer)
2013-06-11 14:00:00 (link to chat)Daniel,like George who wanted to eat, watch tv, and have sex at the same time I would like to acquire Samardzia and Anibal Sanchez in my dynasty league. Unfortunately, I do not have the Costanza charm and have to choose between them. Who is the better pitcher for next five years?
(seabass77 from Milwaukee)
Haha, seabass77. I think in this case, I'd consider Anibal Sanchez the strawberries with chocolate sauce and Jeff Samardzija the pastrami on rye with mustard. The risk associated with his shoulder occasionally flaring up notwithstanding, I think Sanchez has a good deal more upside and will be a much more stable source of wins (assuming your league counts those). If the price tag is the same, get Sanchez and be happy with that. (Daniel Rathman)
2013-04-09 13:00:00 (link to chat)What pitchers have you had most fun analyzing? Is there anybody that's debuted this year that you've identified as having an interesting or "novel" repertoire?
(Lucas Apostoleris from Amherst, MA)
For better or worse, I like Jeff Samardzija's data and he developed; Darvish is maddening but really amazing stuff. Newbies this year... I like what we saw of Hiram Burgos in the WBC. Brandon Maurer looks good, and of course Jose Fernandez... (Harry Pavlidis)
2013-03-06 20:00:00 (link to chat)In a 4x4 NL only league where K's don't count, is there anyone in the upper middle class ($10-$14) of SP who you especially bump up or down? Names like Tim Hudson, Jeff Samardzija, Josh Beckett, Homer Bailey, Trevor Cahill?
(Scott from LA)
Samardzija gets a lot of his value from his strikeouts, but Cahill and Bailey are two guys I'd give a small bump up to. (Paul Singman)
2013-03-01 13:00:00 (link to chat)Anthrax, Tool, Iron Maiden, The Beatles, Colin Hay, Misfits, Sublime...that jukebox has goine haywire...or, Colin Hay-wire... Do you expect Jeff Samardzija repeat his success from last year? He seems pretty fluid in his delivery but I don't have a great eye for that sort of thing. Just hoping he's not a one trick pony.
(Steve from Bayshore)
My musical tastes do that, and I tend to be the type who finds something that he likes and sticks with it. I am always slow to come around, like the old curmudgeon who constantly berates modern music. Hence why my jukebox is filled with music that is at least 10 years old. (Doug Thorburn)
2013-03-01 13:00:00 (link to chat)Thoughts on Jeff Samardzija this year? Do you see the breakout coming that everyone else seems to?
(Shawnykid23 from CT)
I am a huge fan of Jeff Samardzija, and I believe that he actually broke out last season. He had two terrible starts in June that are skewing his ERA, including the start on June 27th where he was cruising along just fine until the 4th inning, when lost it for a stretch of 11 batters, 8 of which crossed the plate. Outside of that horrid stretch, Samardzija was lights out from May through September.

His mechanics are awesome, with a great blend of power and balance that he repeats very well. His velocity has improved each of the last 2 seasons, though not enough to crack the requirements for today's article on velocity gainers. His is only a sleeper in the sense that his performance was not on the national radar - I can only hope that my fantasy league-mates were not paying attention to his performance down the stretch, and that they are likewise ignoring this chat.

On the jukebox: Drist, "The Scalpel" (Doug Thorburn)
2011-09-02 14:00:00 (link to chat)Jeff Samardzija has quietly been an effective reliever this year. Think he can take the next step and be a shut down set up guy or closer?
(MJ from Edmonton)
I think the control will keep him from ever getting to that role, but he's already exceeded expectations, like you said. (Kevin Goldstein)
2010-10-01 13:00:00 (link to chat)Please give me some hope for next yr's Cubs rotation. I see some back-end guys ( Gorz,Wells,Silva), a big ?(Z), and a solid #2-3(Dempster). Shouldn't they stretch out Cashner?
(Matt from Chicago)
The Cubs have plenty of starting pitching depth (enough to where they could stop trying to make Jeff Samardzija a starting pitcher, if nothing else for my health and well-being). They have some guys with front-end talent. It's not the biggest hole on a team riddled with holes. (Colin Wyers)
2010-02-25 15:00:00 (link to chat)Who do you think wins the #5 spot in the Cubs rotation?
(Jack from Chicago)
Tom Gorzelanny. I think Jeff Samardzija is better suited to being a reliever. (John Perrotto)
2009-08-11 13:00:00 (link to chat)Jeff Samardzija starts for the cubs tomorrow. Is there another player you dread appearing in UTK more than the golden domer, just from a spell check perspective?
(Stan from Chicago)
There was someone recently who was worse ... can't remember. There are some names in EPL that just crush me. I cannot spell Benjani Mwaruwari without double and triple checking. (Will Carroll)
2008-08-26 13:00:00 (link to chat)As long as this looks to be an all-Chicago talk, what is the outlook on Jeff Samardzija? Can anyone accurately predict what's in store for him? Because his performance so far seems to be puzzling both statheads and scouts alike.
(Josh from (Sacramento))
In general, the rule of thumb is that when a pitcher as young as Samardzija achieves a breakout level of performance, most of that performance tends to stick. But I sure as hell didn't see it coming. (Nate Silver)
2008-07-22 13:00:00 (link to chat)Thoughts on Jeff Samardzija and his recent run in AAA?
(Rob from Bloomington, IL)
I'm baffled by it, but unfortunately, I've yet to hook up with a scout who has seen the AAA run yet. Until then I'm unconvinced, but certainly intrigued. (Kevin Goldstein)
2008-07-07 13:00:00 (link to chat)What do you make of Jeff Samardzija? He walks guys, gives up the gopher ball, and doesn't strike guys out. Yet he throws gas, gets groundballs, and is a bulldog on the mound. My question is do you see anything that he could do this year that could get him into the top 100?
(Matt from Not afraid of CC)
Into the Top 100? He needs to stop giving up the gopher ball and start striking guys out, no? I don't see that happening. (Kevin Goldstein)


BP Roundtables

DateRoundtable NameComment
2010-04-05 09:30:00Season Opener RoundtableJeff Samardzija is getting shelled in Atlanta. (David Laurila)
2010-04-05 09:30:00Season Opener RoundtableThe Cubs' bullpen was doing a pretty good job after Zambrano's meltdown, but Jeff Samardzija just lost the plot. Should have played football. (Dan Wade)
2009-06-09 14:30:002009 Draft CoverageThis reminds me what the Cubs did a few years ago when they drafted Tyler Colvin with the intention of spending money on Jeff Samardzija later in the draft. We hear the Pirates will be busy in the Dominican and in later rounds, but it's certainly weird to see Sanchez' name in the top five. Not more than a couple days ago, Kevin and I agreed that Jason Castro was a better prospect one year ago. And we know what we all thought about that Castro pick then. (Bryan Smith)
 

PITCHf/x Pitcher Profile

A Collaboration between BrooksBaseball.net and Baseball Prospectus - Pitch classifications provided by Pitch Info LLC


Jeff Samardzija has thrown 12,542 pitches that have been tracked by the PITCHf/x system between 2008 and 2014, including pitches thrown in the MLB Regular Season, the MLB Postseason and Spring Training. In 2014, he has relied primarily on his Sinker (96mph), Fourseam Fastball (96mph) and Slider (87mph), also mixing in a Cutter (94mph) and Splitter (86mph).