From Brad Evans' Bringin' the Noise column
Jeff Samardzija RP 453 0.25
'08 Stats: 5.0 IP, S, 0 W, 3.60 ERA, 0.80 WHIP, 6:1 K:BB
Market Value: Strong Buy (all leagues)
Lowdown: Charlie Weis better have a defibrillator handy. Samardzija is poised to enter several pressure-packed situations over the next few days. As first reported in last week's Weekly Rundown, the Windy City "Jaws" has the stuff to sink his teeth into the competition. Tenacious, ultra-competitive and composed, Samardzija has oozed moxie in his very brief big league career. That combined with his spectacular repertoire – 96-99 mph heater, mid-80s change, splitter – improving command and ability to coax abundant groundballs (1.53 GB/FB ratio in minors this year) are the reasons why Lou Piniella has thrust him into a split-closing role with Carlos Marmol while Kerry Wood's blister mends. With Wood potentially out another 1-2 weeks, the former Notre Dame wide receiver will be given numerous opportunities
to stiff arm opponents in the ninth. Skeptics will point out his unimpressive minor league track-record as reason enough raise a red flag, but his 9.64 K/9 in his last 37.1 IP at Triple-A Iowa paired with his initial success at the big league level are clear deterrents of that logic. He is the NL's version of Joba Chamberlain.
Don't be surprised if he's the biggest bullpen and/or rotation surprise the rest of the way.
Fearless Forecast (Remaining games as a RP): 31 IP, 5 S, 2 W, 2.85 ERA, 0.92 WHIP, 33 K