Samardzija Optioned, Fox Recalled In Cubs Bullpen Swap

Damen JacksonCorrespondent IMay 7, 2009

PHOENIX - APRIL 29:  Relief pitcher Jeff Samardzija #29 of the Chicago Cubs pitches against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the game at Chase Field on April 29, 2009 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Diamondbacks defeated the Cubs 10-0.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Filed:May 6th, 2009


See ya, kid.

Apparently, manager Lou Piniella saw all he needed to see Tuesday in the bullpen meltdown against the Giants . The Cubs have optioned reliever Jeff Samardzija to AAA, and recalled Chad "Nine Lives, No Arm" Fox to fill the roster spot.

I know, that's mean. But I've shared my feelings about Fox here before. I think he should be sitting in a golf cart down in Daytona, instructing 19-year olds on the fine points of a slider, not trying to get big-league hitters out with his own pitches at the tender age of 38.

And please, no one start about his good work in AAA so far this season. He'll get a few big-league hitters out, to be sure. Heck, Chad will probably even be an upgrade, at least for a while. Personally though? I put the over/under on how many appearances he'll have before I see his surgically-attached arm fly in the stands like a hitter's bat at 15.

And Jeff? Well, this is what happens when you rush prospects to the majors; not once, but twice. The fix was in with this guy. Last year, that 95 MPH fastball was enough to wear hitters out, especially some of the second-tier talents that you tend to see toward the end of a season.

This year, everybody seems to have the book on him, and unlike the Cubs more often than not, other clubs are apparently reading the advance scouting.

Good fastball. Sub-par secondary pitches. Force him into the strike zone. And tee off.

Hopefully, we'll see Samardzija in Chicago again soon. In the meantime, he'd do well to not only work on better repeating the delivery on his fastball, but actually picking up a changeup. If he can do that, I'd look for him to be back at Wrigley by July.