Jeff Samardzija to start for Cubs

ST. LOUIS -- Jeff Samardzija will replace Carlos Silva in the Chicago Cubs rotation on Monday against the St. Louis Cardinals.

Silva complained to the Cubs coaching staff about pain in his right elbow on Sunday. The Cubs sent Silva back to Chicago where he met with team orthopedist Dr. Stephen Gryzlo on Monday. Silva was diagnosed with elbow tendinitis, according to a Cubs official.

Silva, who is 10-6 with a 4.22 ERA, will re-join the Cubs in St. Louis this week, and he will meet with pitching coach Larry Rothschild to determine when he will pitch again this season.

Samardzija, who was 11-3 in a combined starting and relieving role at Triple-A Iowa, was orginally signed in 2006 and then given a $10 million contract in 2007. In exchange for a no-trade clause, the former All-American wide receiver at Notre Dame promised the Cubs that he would not return to football.

Samardzija is out of minor league options after 2010. That means if he is not on the Cubs' 25-man roster out of spring training he could be claimed on waivers by another team.

Samardzija, who is 0-1 with an 18.90 ERA in four games with the Cubs this season, was pleasantly surprised to be starting on Monday night.

"Sometimes you get called into the [manager's] office for bad things, sometimes for good things," Samardzija said. "I'm ready to go, my arm feels good [and I am] well-rested so it will be good."

Bruce Levine covers baseball for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN Radio 1000.