Jeff Samardzija threw a career-high 213 2/3 innings in 2013. In 2014, he's hoping to break the 230-inning mark.
In his second full year as a starter, Samardzija also hit career highs in hits and runs allowed, as well as a 4.34 ERA. But after using the offseason to rest and recover from the increased workload, Samardzija said he's prepping himself to throw even more in the upcoming campaign.
How do 230 innings sound?
"With all those innings of work also came a little confidence in my delivery and just repeating everything I'm doing. Just giving myself a little more of a break and prepping myself to even go beyond that 215 innings next year and hopefully get into 230 and above," Samardzija told CSN's Kelly Crull on Saturday at the Cubs Convention.
Cubs fans don't have to worry about Samardzija coming anywhere close to the franchise record for innings pitched in a single season. That distinction belongs to John Clarkson, who threw 623 of them in 1885.
But by modern-day standards, the 230-inning mark would place him among the league leaders in the category. Last season, for example, only two pitchers in baseball threw 230 innings: the Cardinals' Adam Wainwright and the Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw.
Most recently on the North Side, Jon Lieber was the last Cubs hurler to pitch 230 innings, throwing 232 1/3 in 2001. No Cubs pitcher has thrown 220 innings in a season since 2005, when Greg Maddux and Carlos Zambrano tossed 225 and 223 1/3 innings, respectively.