I need a break from the negativity. I’m burned out on the bevy of complaints about a team that we knew would suck. Samardzija has been pretty good, LaHair has probably been too good. Other than that, this team is who we thought they were. So let’s take a look around the league and examine what some former Cubs are doing for their current team; trust me, this will be uplifting. There is some real garbage out there marauding as MLB talent – not all of them current Cubs, quite a few actually are ex-Cubs.
The former landing spot for washed up Cubs has now only one remaining player who previously made his home on the North Side. Kevin Gregg has had a decent season after a very shaky first week. He is NOT Baltimore’s closer, and that’s probably helped keep them in first place through the first 8 weeks.
Boston Red Sox
Marlon Byrd was traded to Boston earlier this season. He’s playing everyday in CF, but still not having any success at the plate.
Tampa Bay Rays
They’ve penciled Carlos Pena in as their leadoff ‘hitter’ mainly because he’s still doing a lot of walking. (I think we’ve all heard the pro-Pena/anti-Pena argument plenty; the current Cubs 1B and current Cubs leadoff hitter are both performing better than Pena). You know who is NOT on this team? Sam Fuld and Robinson Chirinos. Brandon Guyer was on the roster for a minute. Chris Archer and Hak-Ju Lee have yet to debut. Yay, Cubs!
Chicago White Sox
After a few months in Cleveland, Kosuke Fukudome came home. He’s basically a defensive replacement/pinch-hitter. Wouldn’t be surprised at all to see him waived at some point during the year. Will Ohman should be thanking whoever is responsible for his left-hand dominance – it’s the only thing keeping him employed.
Los Angeles Angels
Scott Downs (yes, he was a Cub) has actually been reliable! So was LaTroy Hawkins, before he broke his pinky finger. Fun fact: Hawkins has made nearly $39 million dollars during his 18-year career.
As many predicted, Carlos Zambrano has been stellar. So far. Chad Gaudin has made a handful of appearances for the club too. If you want to count Ricky Nolasco, he’s been average/mediocre. Omar Infante was barely a Cub, but he’s discovered a power stroke in the Marlins’ new pitchers’ park.
For the last week or so, Mike Fontenot has been a Phillie. It probably won’t last long. Meanwhile, Juan Pierre is playing virtually everyday in Philadelphia – now no one will wonder why they are underachieving.
Tom Gorzelanny has been turned into a reliever for the Nationals, and he’s still not very good. Xavier Nady is worse; the words ‘forced retirement’ come to mind. He’s about to be out of baseball. But Mark DeRosa might be him to it!
Thrust into the closer’s role, Sean Marshall has performed admirably. He has only 1 blown save, his numbers aren’t stellar but that’s largely attributed to 2 games (one of which the Reds won anyway).
To the delight of many Cub fans, Aramis Ramirez has looked terrible. Not even slugging .400, Brewers fans need to settle in for two more years of this and then a $4 million buyout to be free of him in 2015. The Brewers also have Cesar Izturis. The ‘salad-dressing dude’ barely has value as a defensive replacement anymore.
As bad as Aramis has been, amazingly he’s an upgrade for the Brewers over current Pirate (and ex-Cub) Casey McGehee. Question: Would you trade Matt Garza, Brett Jackson, and Brian LaHair for Andrew McCutchen?
I would never have imagined that Henry Blanco would outlast Kerry Wood. Ok, so Hank White is probably more of a player-coach, even if that’s not his title – he barely plays once a week – but he is still in the league.
Tyler Colvin has been trying to supplant Dexter Fowler in CF. So far he’s still the 4th OF on most days, but he’s definitely not a roster liability for the Rockies.
Los Angeles Dodgers
Jerry Hairston Jr. is still hanging onto a utility role in LA. Ted ‘Theodore’ Lilly is one of the best pitchers in the league at the moment. A lot of that can be attributed to how well he has pitched at home (where he has made 5 of his 7 starts this season).
San Diego Padres
Fully healed, but still relieving, Andrew Cashner has been decent for his new club.
San Francisco Giants
Angel Pagan is playing everyday by the Bay, and playing well. The same cannot be said for Ryan Theriot. I soured pretty fast when the Cajun heartthrob had some choice words for the Cubs upon signing in St. Louis. Yes, he won a ring; but he career is quickly coming to an end – I see a lot of noodling in his very near future.
That felt good…the misfortune of so many teams, investing in former Cubs. Next time you look down at our bench, just remember that it doesn’t include Cesar Izturis, Xavier Nady, or the host of other former Cubs who are stealing money from another franchise stupid enough to take on a player even the Cubs didn’t want!