For most of his professional baseball career Jeff Samardzija hasn’t exactly what his role would be. But this year was different, he entered spring training knowing he’d be in the bullpen, and for that he’s grateful.

“It’s been great,” Samardzija said on the Mully and Hanley Show of his conversations with new pitching coach Mark Riggins. “I think from the beginning we were on the same page with talking with each other and understanding where we’re at and what we want to do in the future. We talked early about throwing out of the bullpen, and I told them from the beginning that I just want to help this team win some games, and whatever role that may be, it would help if I knew what role that was. So it was nice to know early, and to come into camp with a gameplan on what I want to do, so that when opening day comes, I’m where I want to be.”

LISTEN: Jeff Samardzija On The Danny Mac Show

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So far this spring Samardzija has given up two runs in 4.1 innings pitched, with three strike outs and a .235 opponent batting average.

The Cubs will start their 2011 season at home agaisnt the Pittsburgh Pirates on April 1.

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