Samardzija “absolutely” on same page as Ventura, Cooper

CHICAGO – Jeff Samardzija admits that the month of July sort of sneaked up on him, which is a good thing in the world of a Major League Baseball player.

Samardzija simply is focused on preparing for his next start, which will be Thursday afternoon against the Blue Jays, and isn’t worried about will he or won’t he be traded. The right-hander and free-agent-to-be at the end of this season has become a prime target for contending teams, with at least seven innings worked in nine of his last 10 starts and seven quality starts in that stretch.

There’s certainly no desire on Samardzija’s part to leave the friendly environs of the South Side of Chicago. But he’s in a more relaxed position then he was last year when the Cubs moved him to Oakland.

“To tell you the truth, this time last year I was on the phone listening to people and trying to get a bead on where I was going and what is happening,” Samardzija said. “This year I’ve been pretty relaxed about it.

“Just been going about my business. I’ve just been going up on a five-day routine. You are in a good place as a player when you don’t know what day of the week it is or what month. It’s just another day.”

In comments made following his stellar 7 2/3 innings-effort on the Fourth of July against the Orioles, Samardzija mentioned that he talked with manager Robin Ventura after his previous start in Detroit. That start featured Samardzija throwing seven scoreless innings but then giving up four in the eighth capped off by a bases-clearing, three-run double from Victor Martinez.

That talk was more of a “hey, what’s up” sort of thing, per Samardzija, who said he’s absolutely on the same page with Ventura and pitching coach Don Cooper and has been since Day 1.

“It’s a crazy game. A lot of different things can happen,” Samardzija said. “Having a manager you can talk to and communicate with is awesome. It’s what it’s all about. Having an open door and someone you feel comfortable talking to is what you ask for as a player.

“We’ve been on the same page with a lot of things. Sometimes results don’t always completely mirror that relationship you have. But a great relationship. And they are ballplayers too, which I always admired out of coaches. It’s guys that have played the game before at the highest level and understand the ebb and flow of it.”
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