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Cubs will shut down Jeff Samardzija following Saturday's start

By C. Trent Rosecrans | Blogger
Jeff Samardzija will make his final start of the season on Saturday. (US Presswire)

Stephen Strasburg isn't the only hard-throwing right-hander who is facing a shutdown. The Cubs' Jeff Samardzija will be shut down after Saturday's start against the Pirates, manager Dale Sveum told reporters on Friday.

In his first year as a starter after relieving last season and for most of his previous four seasons in the big leagues, Samardzija was told this week his season would end after Saturday's game at PNC Park. Like Strasburg, Samardzija isn't pleased with the decision.

"I don't think I have many options, to tell you the truth," Samardzija said (via the Chicago Tribune). "It's unfortunate. I'd really like to finish the season pitching the whole time, and that way I could look back and really see how I went from beginning to end. But I've given everything I had in every start, and you have to respect what they're planning on doing, what their plans are for the organization and for the team."

He did say it is "the right move for the right reasons."

Samardzija is 8-13 with a 3.91 ERA in 27 starts, striking out 171 batters in 165 2/3 innings. His average fastball velocity of 95 mph is third-best in the big leagues among starting pitchers, behind Strasburg and David Price.

The Cubs claimed Jason Berken off of waivers from the Cubs on Friday and expect to place him in the starting rotation next week. The Cubs' rotation will consist of Berken, Chris Volstad, Travis Wood, Justin Germano and Chris Rusin.

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