Samardzija unfazed by off day

What began as an afternoon of promise for Chicago Cubs starter Jeff Samardzija turned into a mini meltdown on Friday.

Earlier in the day, manager Dale Sveum left the door open for either Chris Volstad or Samardzija to claim the third rotation spot behind Opening Day starter Ryan Dempster and No. 2 starter Matt Garza. Samardzija proceeded to get lit up by the Colorado Rockies on Friday, allowing seven runs on 10 hits in four innings of work in his worst outing of the spring.

”The ball was up all day “Samardzija said. “This team is pretty free swinging and I am a power pitcher and if I am down in the zone it usually turns into some quick outs. If not, you see cutters get fisted out there. If they are down, they are ground balls and you are moving on.”

Samardzija entered the game having allowed just three runs in 10 innings over his three previous outings.

“I need to make a few adjustments,” he said.

I am happy with the way I am throwing, and they will make a decision (on the rotation) when they make a decision.”

One bad performance doesn’t alter the Cubs’ plan to start him, but Samardzija is not taking anything for granted at this point of the spring.

“The competition is not making it easy, everybody is pitching well which is a great thing and you just have to show them you’re improving and getting ready for the season,” Samardzija said.