Needless to say, there are a lot of Chicago Cubs fans that are excited for the opener today in Pittsburgh, but not for the season overall. A lot of that has to do with the pitching staff that has little to no expectations of positive production. However, I feel differently about the top pitcher in the rotation, Jeff Samardzija.
At first, I thought he should have stuck with football, but as a pitcher, he has improved over the past couple of seasons for Chicago. With today being Opening Day across the league, the first pitcher out of the chute is considered the ace for each staff, and it’s time for Samardzija to prove it.
He may have only had a record of 9-13 in 2012, but with an ERA of 3.81, the record doesn’t tell the entire tale. With the proper support, Samardzija could have easily been a No. 2 starter for any team, and an ace for some of them. Unfortunately, the Cubs don’t have a strong staff, so he will have to serve as the ace right now. I believe he will show why the Cubs have selected him to be the top starter this afternoon in Pittsburgh.
I’m not expecting a no-hitter, but if he can give up just two earned runs over six or seven innings, it will give the Cubs a glimmer of hope going forward in the rest of the season. Maybe the other pitchers on the staff aren’t good enough to even be considered as top-of-the-rotation guy, but this is the time to shine for Samardzija and he should come through just fine.
Korey Beckett is a Baseball Writer for RantSports.com and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org for questions or comments.