Jeff Samardzija (STAFF PHOTO/PAM DAVIS)
That didn't take long. After the Cubs spent the early part of this week saying they hadn't discussed bringing someone up from Class AAA Iowa, they'll do so Thursday, when right-hander Jeff Samardzija is recalled.
The plan is for Samardzija to work out of the bullpen and help Aaron Heilman hand off leads to late men Carlos Marmol and Kevin Gregg.
Samardzija went to spring training in the running for the No. 5 spot in the rotation, a job won by lefty Sean Marshall. GM Jim Hendry said Marshall would remain in the rotation and that left-hander Neal Cotts would not be removed from the team, despite a rough start.
The most likely candidate to go Thursday is right-hander Luis Vizcaino, who has worked 3 2/3 scoreless innings of relief. Right-hander David Patton, a Rule 5 draft pick, will stay with the club and work in long relief, according to manager Lou Piniella.
Samardzija, 24, was 0-0 with a 3.75 ERA at Iowa. In 12 innings, he has struck out 11 and walked four. He made one relief appearance and two starts. He pitched six innings of one-hit, two-run ball Saturday.
REDS 3, CUBS 0: Chicago hitters could do nothing with Reds RHP Johnny Cueto and the Cincinnati bullpen. The Cubs stranded two in the first inning and two in the fourth. LHP Ted Lilly pitched well through seven innings, allowing only an unearned run, resulting from his own throwing error, in the third. RHP Angel Guzman and RHP Kevin Gregg each allowed a run in relief.
NOTES, PLAYER NEWS
--Lilly turned in the Cubs' second quality start in two nights Wednesday. However, Lilly said his fastball wasn't at its best and that he relied on the curve more. Lilly has been nursing a cold.
--SS Ryan Theriot had his hitting streak snapped at four games with an 0-for-4 night Wednesday. He did make a nice defensive play, going up the middle and snagging Jerry Hairston's grounder before turning and throwing to second to start a double play in the fifth. Theriot entered the day leading the NL in batting.
--RF Milton Bradley returned to the starting lineup Wednesday for the first time since April 12. Bradley had been nursing a strained right groin. He went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts and was booed by the Wrigley Field crowd. Bradley, who is 1-for-23 (.043) on the season, left the park before reporters could talk with him.
--INF Aaron Miles started at second base in place of Mike Fontenot. Manager Lou Piniella said he wanted to get Miles into a game and that he'd sub for Theriot once Theriot cools off at the plate. Fontenot is 1-for-19 on the homestand, and Piniella termed him a streaky hitter. Fontenot grounded out as a pinch hitter.
--RF Kosuke Fukudome was 1-for-4 and has hit safely in nine of his last 11 games. He's 16-for-42 (.381) over that stretch. Combined with last year's fast start, Fukudome is 48-for-144 (.333) in 39 games played in March and April.
--The Sports XChange
IOWA 9, ALBUQUERQUE 1 (CLASS AAA)
At Des Moines, RHP Randy Wells (2-0) carried a no-hit bid into the seventh inning before allowing his first and only hit Wednesday. Wells worked seven full innings, allowing two walks and notching four strikeouts. Dating back to last season, Wells hasn’t lost since July 14, 2008. RF Brad Snyder (2-for-4) carried the Cubs’ (9-5) offense with two home runs and five RBIs. CF Sam Fuld (2-for-4), 1B Doug Deeds (2-for-4), and 3B Bobby Scales (2-for-4) also tallied two hits apiece for Iowa, and SS Andres Blanco (3-for-4) tied a season-high with three hits. RHP Jeff Stevens tossed a perfect eighth inning in relief, inducing three groundouts to extend his scoreless streak to 6 1/3 innings to open the season.
WEST TENNESSEE 7, TENNESSEE 2 (CLASS AA)
At Jackson, Tenn., the Smokies (6-6) were held to seven hits in the loss Wednesday. Seven Tennessee players recorded one hit, including RF Jim Adduci, who singled to extend his hit streak to seven consecutive games and is batting .342 (13-for-38) through 10 games. The Smokies stranded 12 runners on base. RHP Hung-Wen Chen (2-1) started and suffered his first loss for Tennessee, allowing five earned runs and five hits in six innings. He walked two batters and struck out three.
DUNEDIN 7, DAYTONA 5 (CLASS HIGH-A)
At Dunedin, Fla., the Cubs (6-7) collected 12 hits but stranded 10 men on base in the loss Wednesday. CF Marwin Gonzalez (3-for-5, double) paced the offense with three hits atop the order, and DH Tyler Colvin (2-for-5), 1Bs Jovan Rosa (2-for-2, double, three RBI) and Russ Canzler (2-for-2) each added two hits.
Daytona used five pitchers in the loss with RHP Jake Muyco (0-2) suffering the loss. He allowed four runs (three earned) and five hits in two innings.
RHP Dan McDaniel was scheduled to start for Daytona, but was removed from the game after completing a handful of warm-up tosses. He did not face any batters.
“I threw three warm-up pitches and on the fourth one, I felt something,” McDaniel said. “I threw another one and it was all messed up. But I should be fine. I’m pretty sure it’s (nothing major).”
WISCONSIN 3, PEORIA 2 (CLASS A)
At Appleton, Wis., the Chiefs (5-5) blew a 2-1 ninth-inning lead en route to the loss Wednesday. RHP Erik Hamren (0-2) suffered the loss and was charged with two ninth-inning runs. RHP Kevin Kreier faced one batter, allowing a walk-off triple for a blown save. RHP Chris Carpenter started and tossed five scoreless innings of one-hit ball, striking out six batters and allowing two walks in a no-decision. 3B Josh Vitters (2-for-4) and 2B Ryan Flaherty (1-for-3) each extended their hit streaks to seven straight starts.