The Cubs are going to hold on to Jeff Samardzija for now

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The Cubs were rumored to be shopping Jeff Samardzija, but Jon Heyman reports that they’ve given up on that and will now try to lock him up this offseason or trade him then. It was worth looking around to see if the team could get some useful prospects for him, but that’s not really developing at the moment.

Samardzija is 6-9 with a 3.75 ERA and 146 Ks to 54 walks in 144 innings.  He is 28, though, so the Cubs may have doubts that he’ll still be a good rotation piece by the time the team is ready to contend.

Shohei Ohtani no longer facing Masahiro Tanaka on Sunday at Yankee Stadium

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Shohei Ohtani has essentially become the Angels’ designated Sunday starting pitcher, but Angels manager Mike Scioscia announced Thursday morning that the 23-year-old two-way Japanese star will be skipped in the rotation this weekend at Yankee Stadium for “workload management” purposes.

Ohtani is fine to continue hitting, so there’s no sense of any physical ailment.

This decision will rob us — and the Japanese media — of a showdown between Ohtani and countrymate Masahiro Tanaka. And for that we are rather devastated, but you can understand the Angels’ concerns about overuse.

Ohtani has registered a 3.35 ERA, 1.066 WHIP, and 52/14 K/BB ratio through his first 40 1/3 innings (seven starts) as a major league pitcher and he’s slashing .308/.364/.582 with six home runs and 19 RBI in 26 games as a part-time DH.