Geovany Soto and Welington Castillo are both on the disabled list with knee injuries, so Steve Clevenger will have an opportunity to get most of the playing time behind the plate for the Cubs.
Clevenger has been on the DL himself with a strained oblique muscle, but is now healthy and Doug Padilla of ESPN Chicago reports that the 26-year-old career minor leaguer will draw starts over recently acquired Koyie Hill.
Clevenger lacks power, but hit above .300 at Single-A, Double-A, and Triple-A while totaling nearly as many walks (183) as strikeouts (203). He’ll likely have at least two weeks of regular work until Soto returns.
Update (12:58 AM ET): Per Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle, Samardzija has been diagnosed with a strained pectoral muscle. He’ll be shut down for a week. That’s good news for the Giants, considering the alternatives.
Giants starter Jeff Samardzija will undergo an MRI on his ailing right shoulder, according to NBC Sports Bay Area. The right-hander struggled in a minor league game on Wednesday, surrendering a pair of home runs and hitting a batter. Overall this spring, Samardzija has given up 15 runs (13 earned) on 17 hits (six homers) and seven walks with seven strikeouts in 11 innings.
This may mean Samardzija won’t be ready for the start of the regular season. Derek Holland would likely replace Samardzija in the rotation. Holland had been competing for the No. 5 spot in the Giants’ rotation.
Samardzija led the National League in losses last season with 15, also posting a 4.42 ERA with a 205/32 K/BB ratio in a league-high 207 2/3 innings. Since becoming a starter, Samardzija has been able to avoid injury, making 32 or 33 starts in each of the last five seasons.