CHICAGO – The Chicago Cubs today recalled right-handed pitcher Jeff Samardzija from Triple-A Iowa. He will take the roster spot of right-handed pitcher Kerry Wood, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list yesterday with a blister on his right index finger.

 

Samardzija, who will wear uniform No. 29, will be available to make his major league debut this afternoon against the Florida Marlins at Wrigley Field.

 

The 23-year-old Samardzija joins the Cubs after going 4-1 with a 3.13 ERA (13 ER/37.1 IP) in six appearances with Iowa, the lone six outings higher than Double-A in his professional career. With Iowa, Samardzija struck out 40 batters in 37.1 innings, an average of 9.6 strikeouts per nine innings, and limited opponents to a .241 batting average. He has a 2.37 ERA (5 ER/19.0 IP) in his last three starts, striking out 25 and walking only five in 19.0 innings. Overall, he has pitched at least six innings in all six of his Triple-A outings.

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Samardzija began the season with Double-A Tennessee and went 3-5 with a 4.86 ERA (41 ER/76.0 IP) in 16 appearances, all but one as a starter. The righthander has gone 7-6 with a 4.29 ERA (54 ER/113.1 IP) in 22 outings, all but one as a starter, in 2008 between Tennessee and Iowa.

 

The first member of Chicago’s 2006 Draft class to reach the big leagues, Samardzija signed a five-year major league contract with club options for 2012 and 2013 on January 19, 2007. Selected in the fifth round, Samardzija combined to make seven minor league appearances between Single-A Boise and Peoria in 2006 prior to signing the major league deal.

 

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After pitching in Boise and Peoria in the summer of 2006, Samardzija returned to the University of Notre Dame for his senior football season as a wide receiver. The 6-foot-5, 218-pounder completed his Notre Dame football career with a school-record 179 receptions, 2,593 receiving yards and 27 receiving touchdowns, earning First-Team All-America honors in his final year.

 

Samardzija committed fully to baseball upon signing his major league deal (declining entry in the NFL Draft) and split the 2007 season between Single-A Daytona and Double-A Tennessee, combining to go 6-11 with a 4.57 ERA (72 ER/141.2) in 30 appearances, 26 as a starter.

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Joe Aiello is the founder of View From the Bleachers and one of the lead writers as well as host of VFTB Radio. Growing up in Chicago, he fondly remembers attending games in the bleachers before that was the popular thing to do. Currently Joe resides in North Carolina with his wife and three kids. Connect with Joe via Twitter / Facebook / E-mail