If Inside the Ivy is to believed - and they are usually pretty good on this stuff - Jeff Samardzija is being promoted to AAA Iowa.
At first blush, this looks like a purely contract-related move. I'm sure we all remember the large, ML contract Jeff was given to entice him to forego any thoughts of a football career. Afterall, he's currently sporting an ugly 5.32 ERA in AA, with just 41 strikeouts in 66 innings.
But let's remember this happened to Jeff last year. Midway through the season last year, Jeff was struggling at high A Daytona - to the tune of a 4.95 ERA. But then, inexplicably, he was promoted to Tennessee. How did Jeff respond? He actually *dropped* his ERA by a run and a half.
Am I saying Jeff is somehow magically better at higher levels? Of course not. But maybe he's the kind of kid who needs to be challenged. I can't be the only one who has watched him for two Spring Trainings against ML competition and been impressed with his makeup and stuff. I have wondered for two years how the guy I see in ST is the same guy struggling in the low minors. Of course, I'm not convinced that his numbers aren't at all related to certain pitches he's been asked to work on - but I'm totally speculating on that.
So who knows what will happen? People will say this is just because of Samardzija's contract, and he doesn't deserve this promotion. Maybe they're right. But I, for one, am really looking forward to seeing how Jeff responds against ever-better competition.