It’s a nice day for a red wedding, or at least that’s what I thought when I first read Adrian Sampson‘s explanation of the Cubs’ roster flux. The 29-year-old righty was called up for Wednesday’s start in what first appeared to be the role of sacrificial lamb for a team not really expecting to beat their division rivals in Cincinnati. But as it turns out, Sampson may yet be able to pull some pillars down.
He did give up a homer in his four innings of work, which was to be expected, but the journeyman limited the Reds to that lone run while striking out two with no walks. It’s actually pretty hilarious that Sampson was effectively filling in for Jake Arrieta, who was released last week when it became clear that even the Cubs couldn’t keep running him out there.
Arrieta was then picked up by the Padres, a contending team that was apparently unable to find literally anyone else to pitch for them, and promptly allowed three runs to the Rockies in the 1st inning. The bearded righty ended up allowing five earned runs on seven hits and a walk before leaving after 3.1 innings with “hamstring tightness.”
Anyway, back to the current Cubs, who are essentially auditioning a bunch of players to see who might be able to stick through the end of this season and into next.
“Right now it’s almost Game of Thrones-esque,” Sampson said after the game. “We’re being asked what kind of role we want to play in this organization going forward.”
That actually sounds a lot like Heath Ledger’s Joker in The Dark Knight when he leaves three cronies to fight to the death for one spot in his organization. Now I’m picturing Jed Hoyer heading down to the clubhouse, snapping a pool cue over his knee, and tossing it down as a set of weapons for some opportunistic veterans or hungry prospects.
“It’s ours for the taking,” Sampson said. “If you want it you’ve got to go get it. That’s my thought process. I really want this job, and I’m going to do everything I can to be successful.”
I’ll be honest, I didn’t think he was going to be successful Wednesday afternoon and there’s really nothing in his past performance to suggest he will be moving forward. But you never know when everything might click into place and far be it for me to question a guy named Sampson when it comes to handling a teardown.