Credit where it’s due — I took this idea from Max Rieper at our SB Nation Royals site Royals Review.
I’m going to take a slightly different approach to this post than Max did. He simply listed all the former Royals around baseball, whether they’re in the minors or majors.
Here, I’m limiting this to:
- Players who played at least one MLB game for the Cubs, and
- Are on current MLB active rosters.
There are 28 such players, just two more than would be on a current MLB active roster. (Jon Lester would be the 29th, but he has not yet been activated by the Nationals. That’s expected to happen soon.)
Here are the 28 players, broken down by position (and then current team):
Victor Caratini (Padres), Martin Maldonado (Astros)
DJ LeMahieu (Yankees), Robel Garcia (Astros), Tony Kemp (Athletics), Starlin Castro (Nationals), Tommy La Stella (Giants)
Jorge Soler (Royals), Albert Almora Jr. (Mets), Kyle Schwarber (Nationals), Nick Castellanos (Reds)
Starting pitchers (4)
Yu Darvish (Padres), Rich Hill (Twins), Jose Quintana (Angels), Trevor Cahill (Pirates)
Relief pitchers (13)
Aroldis Chapman (Yankees), Justin Wilson (Yankees), David Phelps (Blue Jays), Rafael Dolis (Blue Jays), Wade Davis (Royals), Steve Cishek (Angels), Joe Smith (Astros), Brooks Raley (Astros), Casey Sadler (Mariners), Brandon Kintzler (Phillies), Anthony Bass (Marlins), Dylan Floro (Marlins), Duane Underwood Jr. (Pirates)
Well, this isn’t quite a full MLB roster, as there are only 11 position players, four starting pitchers and way too many relievers (13). On the other hand, you’d have a pretty deep “Iowa Shuttle” from all those extra relief pitchers. Besides that, though, you could put together a reasonable MLB starting lineup and batting order from that list:
La Stella, 1B
Lester would fill out the rotation when he’s activated (expected to be fairly soon after he throws a sim game today), and Dexter Fowler would have made this list but for the unfortunate ACL injury he suffered last Friday that ended his 2021 season. I suppose Underwood could also be pressed into service on this team as a fifth starter.
There are two former Cubs managers currently managing other teams: Joe Maddon (Angels) and Dusty Baker (Astros), and three other former Cubs players managing: Terry Francona (Cleveland), Dave Martinez (Nationals) and Joe Girardi (Phillies). Let’s say Maddon would manage this bunch, with the other four as his coaches.
There are two former Cubs top prospects who would have made this list had they played any games for the major-league Cubs: Daniel Vogelbach (Brewers) and Alex Lange (Tigers).
The question I have for you, then: If this roster played a three-game series against the current Cubs, how many games would they win?