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Samardzija back to the DL with more shoulder issues

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San Francisco Giants pitcher Jeff Samardzija (29) throws a pitch in the first inning as the Oakland Athletics face the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park in San Francisco, Calif., on Saturday, July 14, 2018.

The Giants announced Sunday that Jeff Samardzija will be placed on the 10-day disabled list going into the All Star Break with right shoulder inflammation, and Kelby Tomlinson was recalled to take his place on the roster.

It’s been an embattled season for the big righty. In the second year of a five-year $90 million contract he’s spent more time on the disabled list (54 games) than off, stemming from right pectoral and shoulder issues.

Samardzija (1-5, 6.25 ERA) has struggled with command walking 26 batters in just 44-2/3 innings. And previously known as an innings eater who pitched over 200 innings in each of the last five seasons, he’s made it past the fifth inning just once this season.

Saturday night’s performance was his second since coming off the disabled list for right shoulder tightness July 7, but he lasted just four innings against the Athletics struggling to find the strike zone with a velocity uncharacteristically hovering around 90-mph or lower. 

The return of Samardzija and Johnny Cueto in early July saw Derek Holland (5-8, 4.09 ERA) re-purposed as a reliever and an occasional spot-starter after spending the first half of the season in the rotation. But since that the role change Holland has been sharper than ever before. In 12-2/3 innings he’s struck out 20 batters and owns a 2.13 ERA. Just Saturday he threw two innings in relief of Samrdzija on three-days rest after starting and struck out five batters in a row.

Samardzija will be further evaluated by team medical staff and potentially undergo an MRI, but if he ends up slated for more time off or some form of medical intervention in the second half, it’s likely Holland will take his spot back in the rotation.

Manager Bruce Bochy hinted at Holland making more starts in the second half, earlier this week:

“We’ll talk about it. The way he’s throwing the ball, he’s got so much value as a starter. He’s done a great job there. … We’ll see where he fits in.”


Julie Parker is SFBay’s San Francisco Giants beat writer. Follow @SFBay and @InsideThePark3r on Twitter and at SFBay.ca for full coverage of Giants baseball.

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