Samardzija Headed to Bullpen

DAYTONA BEACH – After going winless in his first 11 starts for Class-A Daytona, Jeff Samardzija is headed to the bullpen for the time being.

"This was an organizational decision," said Rich Bombard, Samardzija's pitching coach at Daytona. "Right now, we feel that this kind of little change will help him."

Samardzija was 0-5 with a 5.75 ERA in 51 2/3 innings from the Daytona starting rotation. He struck out 20, walked 16, and allowed a .349 average to opposing hitters.

"We're just trying to change things up a little bit and try a different look," Samardzija said prior to Tuesday's Daytona game against Dunedin.

This won't be the first time Samardzija has pitched in relief. At Notre Dame, he spent the first two years of his college baseball career frequently in the bullpen.

In Big League Spring Training this past March, Samardzija made all three of his appearances from the Cubs' bullpen.

Though things haven't yet gone the way Samardzija and the Cubs had hoped since the right-hander chose a career in baseball over the NFL back in January, the 22-year-old's confidence appears overly unfazed.

"There's been some tough luck involved," Samardzija said of his struggles this season. "Trust me, I'm not worried about it."

For the time being, right-hander Joel Santo will take Samardzija's place in the Daytona rotation. Santo was 3-3 with a 5.35 ERA in seven starts for Daytona prior to being moved to the bullpen in mid-May.

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