The 6-foot-5 right-hander came into Wednesday's game against the Clearwater Threshers with the score knotted at 1-1 in the seventh inning and retired all six batters his faced, in order. Samardzija only allowed two balls out of the infield and struck out recent call-up Jason Donald.
He followed that outing on Friday, tossing 1 1/3 innings of scoreless relief and retired all four hitters he faced – three on groundball outs.
"He threw the ball well, kept it down in the zone more and was aggressive," Bombard said. "It is a start. I don't know how long this will go, but it was definitely a positive outing for him."
Samardzija was originally scheduled to start Wednesday night, but was moved to the bullpen after going winless in his first 11 starts this season.
He 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.
What does the future hold for the top prospect?
"I think that overall, we are still looking at him as a starter," Davis said. "He had just had some rough luck here in the first half and we wanted him to go out there and get a positive (outing)."