Samardzija Now Set to Join Triple-A

A year ago the Chicago Cubs promoted top prospect Jeff Samardzija despite mixed results in his first year dedicated solely to baseball. With an ERA of almost five points through the midway part of 2008, Samardzija is moving up again.

In 15 starts spanning 76 innings this season, Jeff Samardzija has a 4.86 ERA, 44 strikeouts and 42 walks for Class AA Tennessee. In itself those are numbers hardly worthy of a promotion, but the right-hander is coming off one of his better outings as he held Mobile to two runs and five hits over seven innings in a start on June 19.

The Cubs have shown no reservations about promoting Samardzija despite limited success in games before. Last summer, they sent the former two-sport athlete to Double-A after he had allowed 142 hits in 100-plus innings at Class-A Daytona.

Samardzija, who normally can be spotted in the Smokies' dugout or in seats behind home plate charting pitches during off days, was in neither of those familiar locales during Tennessee's 8-1 victory over Mobile at Smokies Park Saturday.

That prompted speculation inside the Smokies' stadium that Samardzija had left the team, presumably to join Class AAA Iowa – a move later confirmed by a Smokies spokesperson, who said Samardzija is expected to join Iowa by Tuesday.

Selected by the Cubs in the fifth round of the 2006 MLB Draft from Notre Dame, Samardzija signed a five-year, $10 million contract with Chicago in January, 2007. staff writer Maria M. Cornelius in Sevierville, Tenn., contributed to this report.

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At Albuquerque, the Isotopes dealt RHP Randy Wells (6-3, 3.61 ERA) his worst outing of the season, tagging him for 10 runs off of nine hits in two innings Saturday. OF Andres Torres hit a grand slam to highlight the bulk of the Iowa (43-33) offense.


At Sevierville, Tennessee (30-45) got seven strong innings from RHP Mitch Atkins (6-6, 4.00) in a rout. Atkins yielded six hits but did not allow a run for the first time this season. He fanned four batters to extend his system-high strikeouts lead to 72.

INF Kyle Reynolds and OF Jake Fox each had three hits to lead the Smokies' offense. Fox connected for his 11th home run and is tied with Peoria's Marquez Smith for the most round-trippers in the Cubs farm system.


At Daytona, OFs Jim Adduci and Ty Wright each had two hits for the Cubs (37-36). Wright's first-inning double extended his hitting streak to six games, and Blake Lalli's sixth-inning double extended his streak to nine consecutive games.

RHP Marco Carillo started and received a no-decision for his 5 2/3 innings. He allowed two runs and five hits while striking out four and walking two. RHP Matt Avery (1-1) picked up the win in relief with 2 2/3 scoreless innings.


At Peoria, Chiefs (30-41) pitchers allowed 15 hits. RHP Kevin Kreier (2-2, 4.66) started and gave up five runs and a season-high eight hits in four innings. OF Dylan Johnston extended his career-high in home runs with his ninth of the season.


At Boise, the Hawks (2-3) were held to three hits. Boise used four pitchers, including RHP Mike Perconte, who started and tossed three scoreless innings. RHP Casey Coleman, the Cubs' 15th-round pick in this year's draft, took the loss in his pro debut. Coleman (0-1, 9.00) allowed the game's only two runs in two innings.

--Combined Reports

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