You ask and you shall receive! I had numerous requests for a Jeff Samardzija Pitcher Profile, and since I’d only seen the fire-baller throw maybe once or twice against my Brewers, I thought it would be a great idea to break him down for Razzball Nation.

I know the big righty features a huge fastball that flirts with the upper 90′s, but off the top of my head I couldn’t remember any specific secondary pitches so I was excited to really analyze one of his starts. Remember when he was the top WR target for Brady Quinn? Seems like ages ago! Remember when he was an erratic fixture in that Cubs bullpen along with Carlos Marmol? I bet some of those innings made even Steve Bartman cringe. But it’s much further down the road with Samardzija a fixture in that rotation (along with your fantasy squad’s staff) and a piece of the Cubs’ rebuilding future. Let’s go through how he hurled against the Diamondbacks on Saturday:

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Cameron Frye called up Ned Colletti yesterday. He said, “Ned. This is Joc Pederson. Well, we’ve had a bit of bad luck this morning as you may have heard. Matt Kemp got injured.” Ned, “Yeah I heard, and man, I’m all broken up, boy, what a blow.” “Yeah. Yeah. Well, uh, it’s been a tough morning and we got a lot of business to take care of, so if you wouldn’t mind DL’ing Kemp, I’d appreciate it.” “Uh, yeah, sure, I’d be happy to, yeah you, uh, you, you, you just produce a corpse, and uh, I’ll DL Kemp, but I wanna see Salvador Perez’s dead grandmother first.” “Ned?” So, Matt Kemp did hit the DL, which has led to speculation that this will lead to the arrival of Pederson. Last night, the Dodgers played Ethier in center, but that’s not a long-term solution. But, instead of Puig or Pederson, the Dodgers called up…Wait for it… It’s right here… Hold on, I left it in my other pants… Got it! They called up Tony Gwynn Jr.! In other words, the Dodgers suck as badly as Matt Kemp. In other other words, you can grab Pederson in case Gwynn doesn’t pan out, but I wouldn’t hold my breath. In other other other words, the fly me to the moon record is skipping. Oh, and let’s not forget I told you six weeks ago to sell Kemp and ranked him very low in the preseason, so you were warned. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Going into yesterday’s game, Gio Gonzalez had a 5.85 ERA and in three of four starts he only threw five innings. I saw the fear in your eyes. Nervousness was percolating just below the surface. You were like Mr. Coffee when he was about to lose his virginity. You were expecting some grinds and instead you were just overheating. Steaming so hard you needed a cup to catch the water beneath you. (How long you think I could keep the visual of Mr. Coffee about to lose his virginity going? Three more lines? Do I hear four?) Finally, the heat was too much, the water dripping too fast and everything began to steam. Quickly, you grabbed your little creamer. She usually likes to put the cream in herself, but you’re just gonna splash it all over the place to avoid a mess on your pants. And that’s how coffee became Mr. Coffee. So, today Gio threw an eight-inning, one-hitter with 7 Ks; his only blemish a Votto opposite-field blast. Things looked awry, making dyslexics wary. Luckily, it’s still freakin’ April and you shouldn’t worry so much. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Matt Harvey was better last night. Better than Stephen Strasburg. In a battle of two of the NL’s most exciting young pitchers, Matt Harvey dominated again, pitching 7.0 innings, giving up just 4 hits, 1 ER and striking out seven. Harvey currently leads fantasy leagues in “Players You Wish You Drafted.” Stephen Strasburg countered pitching 6.0 innings, 2 ER (4 R) and struck out six. St. Rasburg battled chants from the NY crowd “Har-vey’s better! Har-vey’s better!” Ouch. How could they turn on you so quickly, Stephen? And for a younger, sexier fantasy ace. Well, if there was ever a time to sell off your Matt Harveys for gold and fame, now is good. Harvey was filthy again, touching 99 mph several times last night, he was throwing some serious cheese (his fastball has averaged 96.1 mph this season) and the mighty Nationals couldn’t touch him. The guy’s got gas. Flatulence jokes aside, Harvey moves to 4-0 (the first Met to win his first four starts of the season since David Cone) with a 0.93 ERA and has given up just 10 hits all season. Harvey’s K-upside makes me love him more than I care to share in print, but if I can get a top 20 player for him I’m making a deal. Curt Schilling said if he’s starting a franchise, he’s going with Harvey over Strasburg. Well, that’s just your opinion, man. We know what happened to 38 studios so maybe Big Schill isn’t the guy to ask if you’re trying to run a successful business. Strasburg, who has a 3 losses despite a 2.96 ERA, was upset about the crowds chant, responding with his own chant, “Must pitch better. Better than Matt Harvey. I will be better, faster, stronger than Matt Harvey.” Chill Stras, obsessmuch? Matt Harvey did get the better of the Nats last night but either way going forward, clearly, these two will be among fantasy’s best.

Here’s what else happened last night in fantasy baseball:

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Gird your loins – we’re going to be navigating positions battles in each division. Today I’m talking about the NL Central, which loses the Astros this year, so you can basically knock off five wins from each team’s 2012 win total. It feels like this could be a close race for the first couple months until the Reds replace Dusty’s toothpick with bubblegum at the trade deadline. There’s also a good amount of both young and rebound pitchers spread out across the division, so this could be a boon for late round draft picks in mixed leagues. Am I telling you to draft a pitching staff solely from the NL Central? Those are your words, not mine. Although I kind of wish they had been my words (you quick thinker, you). You can also read about the position battles for the NL East and the AL Central. Anyway, here are some of the position battles to watch in the NL Central:

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Saul Rivera, who is surprisingly not related to Eli Whiteside, was acquired by the Diamondbacks.  Big shakes, huh?  Yeah, Rivera could get into the mix for saves.  Another potential candidate for saves is… Wait for it… Here it comes… It’s here somewhere… Where are my notes… Oh, here they are… That’s my freakin’ shopping list, and I didn’t even spell minestrone right… Oh, here… Aaron Heilman

Please, blog, may I have some more?