After two years of bouncing back and forth from the bullpen to the rotation (and from Iowa to the Cubs), Jeff Samardzija finally found a home this year, in the pen.
Pretty much forced to keep him on the active roster, the Cubs stuck Samardzija in the pen with generally great results. He's pitched in 73 games (so far), throwing 86.2 IP and striking out 86. The only knock against him is his 5.1 BB/9 ratio, however, that is offset by his career low 6.3 H/9.
Overall a pretty successful season for the flame-throwing righthander.
So, it should come as no surprise that the Cubs are once again considering moving him back to the rotation.
And it should also come as no surprise that I think that Cubs management is insane for even considering this.
Yes, the Cubs are hard up for starting pitching. This season has seen the Cubs use 10 different starting pitchers, mostly as a result of injuries to projected starters Randy Wells and Andrew Cashner.
The Cubs' lack of pitching depth has been a sore spot for me all season and the 4.87 ERA posted by the starters is just pathetic. With Carlos Zambrano unlikely to return and Ryan Dempster's status for 2012 also up in the air, the Cubs could be left with Matt Garza and a bunch of question marks.
However, even with all the problems with the Cubs starters, I would pass on converting Shark back to starting.
The fact is that Jeff has had the most success as a reliever, from his 27.2 IP major league debut in 2008, when he posted a 2.28 ERA (all in relief), to this season. He has a career ERA of 7.77 as a starter (albeit in just 5 major league starts) and his minor league starts, which came mostly as a starter, are nothing to write home about.
Bottom line: Why try to fix what ain't broke? Leave him in the bullpen. Its where he belongs.