Updated: May 9, 2014 12:17AM
Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer downplayed sharp comments made by Jeff Samardzija on Wednesday, when the right-hander talked about the front office weighing in on his career-high 126 pitches Monday night.
“No one, Theo [Epstein] and me included, had any problem with him throwing 126,” Hoyer said, “but all three of us have said individually that’s not something that’s going to happen every time out. I think that goes without saying. And if you read all our comments, I don’t think any comment was really an outlier. It’s just a story that should probably die.”
When told the front office had expressed some concern over an issue it expects to monitor, Samardzija called it “an on-field issue for uniformed personnel.”
Hoyer and manager Rick Renteria said Thursday that they don’t consider it an issue.
“I talk to Rick every day about pitcher usage — bullpen usage, starter usage,” Hoyer said, “and the day after that outing was not really that much different.”
Samardzija pitches Saturday, when he is expected to get a shorter leash.
Hoyer said he has been very happy with Renteria’s performance in his first year as a big-league manager, despite an 11-21 record through Wednesday and an MLB-high three ejections.
“He creates a great environment with these guys,” Hoyer said. “We have a lot of guys that are actually playing really well, a lot of guys that are playing much better than last year.
“We’ve given him a very young team and given him a very young bullpen that doesn’t have a lot of experience, and he’s managed that really well.
“I like the tone.
“Obviously, the results, the wins and losses, it’s probably no different than it was with Dale [Sveum]. We’re not in a place where we’re going to evaluate him based on the standings in the paper in the morning.”
Class A Daytona pitching prospect Rob Zastryzny, a second-round draft pick last year, underwent X-rays after taking a line drive off his pitching elbow Wednesday. Hoyer was still awaiting results Thursday night.
◆ Renteria said he doesn’t like getting ejected and isn’t trying to show up the umpires. But he believes he has to speak up for players, even if it can work against him. “I don’t know that you can actually get the next call,” he said. “You might even put yourself in a detrimental position. It cuts both ways.”