Dale Sveum still hoping that Jeff Samardzija does 180
BY JOE COWLEY email@example.com June 4, 2012 10:46PM
The facts: 7:10, Ch. 9, 720-AM.
The pitchers: Ryan Dempster (0-3, 2.90 ERA) vs. Yovani Gallardo (4-4, 4.22).
THE REST OF THE SERIES
Wednesday: 7:10 p.m., CSN, 720-AM. Paul Maholm (4-4, 4.82) vs. Zack Greinke (6-2, 3.46).
Thursday: 1:10 p.m., CSN, 720-AM. Matt Garza (2-4, 4.10) vs. Randy Wolf (2-5, 6.05).
Updated: July 7, 2012 8:36AM
SAN FRANCISCO — There is a plan in place to protect Jeff Samardzija in his first year as a starter with one goal in mind as far as manager Dale Sveum is concerned.
“We’re not going to kill him, put it that way,’’ Sveum said.
Or, more specifically, kill his valuable right arm.
A reliever in his first four seasons, Samardzija has worked 69 innings in 11 starts this season, including five in a no-decision in the 3-2 loss Monday to the San Francisco Giants. Assuming he makes the healthy-pitcher norm of 33 starts, Samardzija would be on pace for 207 innings.
That’s about 27 more than the Cubs want.
Expect to see him pushed back a day when days off are on the schedule to give him more rest. Also, look for a quick hook when he would be tossing “useless innings.’’
“We’ve mapped it out to where it should work out to 180, something like that, nothing more than that,’’ Sveum said. “You monitor it, but you still let the guy pitch and do his thing. There’s all kinds of ways to monitor it, monitor pitch counts, all of that. You’re not going to leave a guy out there for useless innings or anything like that.’’
Fans looking forward to Anthony Rizzo’s arrival to give them a reason to watch this team will have to continue to wait.
Sveum reiterated that there has been no recent talk of Rizzo’s call-up or a specific date when the highly touted first baseman is expected to walk through the door.
“There’s no timetable or whatever,’’ Sveum said. “Right now there’s no thought of it.’’
Touch ’em all
The Cubs signed left-handed pitcher Hong-Chih Kuo, 30, to a minor-league deal and assigned him to extended spring training in Mesa, Ariz.
◆ Reliever Michael Bowden cleared waivers and was sent to Class AAA Iowa. Bowden had a 7.45 ERA in 10 appearances for the Cubs.
◆ Ryan Dempster is a go for the game Tuesday against the Milwaukee Brewers. The right-hander was away from the team because of personal reasons.