Wednesday, May 10, 2017

My Cubs-Rockies Mashup Starting Lineup

Last week I did a post where I built a lineup made up of guys that had some significant time with both the Cubs and Red Sox during their careers. I missed the Phillies and Yankees series but I'm back today with the Rockies. Unlike the lengthy history of those first three teams, the Rockies are only in their 25th season. Let's see if I can fill out a lineup.

Like with the Red Sox, I had a few guys in mind immediately but when looking over the list of possibilities and their stats with each team, I had to make some changes. My first instincts are usually a Cub who has moved onto another team because, you know, Once a Cub, Always a Cub. After making these two lineups, its odd to realize how little attention I pay attention to players on other teams before they get to the Cubs. Their tenure and/or stats are off the radar.

Such is the case with this team's starting pitcher.

2016 Topps
Jason Hammel pitched 524 2/3 innings for the Rockies from 2009-2011 and 446 innings for the Cubs over parts of 3 seasons. That's the second highest IP total for anyone on the list, behind only Frank Castillo who heavily skewed Cubs (949 2/3 Cubs - 83 2/3 Rockies).

My brain came up with Jamie Moyer and Chris Rusin. Neither would crack the starting rotation.

1990 Donruss Best of the NL
Behind the plate was one of the more obvious choices to me. Joe Girardi started his career with the Cubs and was stolen by the Rockies in the 1992 expansion draft. Girardi spent parts of 7 season with the Cubs and 3 with the Rockies.

First base was a tough one for me. For the Cubs, I think of Mark Grace, Derrek Lee and Anthony Rizzo at first base since the Rockies have been around. For the Rockies, had they even had anybody aside from Andres Galarraga and Todd Helton? None of those guys played for both teams. I'll admit, even after cheating and looking it up, I'm a bit underwhelmed with the selection.

2012 Topps
Despite parts of nine seasons with the Cubs and Rockies, Jeff Baker barely eked out the position ahead of fellow utility man Tyler Colvin. Less than 100 games at first in that time. Moving on...

Two names came to mind when trying to come up with a second baseman.

2001 Topps Stadium Club
With recency in mind, I was leaning towards DJ LeMahieu here. He's done pretty well for himself in Colorado after leaving a crowded middle infield situation in Chicago (Starlin Castro and Gold Glover Darwin Barney at the time). However, he only had 60 at bats for the Cubs.

Eric Young on the other hand had 300+ games with the Cubs and 600+ with the Rockies. He hit a very respectable .292 with 265 stolen bases in his combined 7 seasons with the two teams.

His double play partner is also more of a Rockie than a Cub. A few more with the Rockies, a little less with the Cubs. Unfortunately, he was way better with a glove than with a bat. Like first base, there was little competition here though. I would have rather with Jose Hernandez here but his time with the Rockies was too brief.

1996 Topps Stadium Club
Rounding out the infield at third base, and giving me another chance to show off this awesome mid-90's cellphone cameo card is Todd Zeile. More known as a Cardinal, he did get a full season with the Rockies and a partial with the Cubs. Unfortunately, another slim pickin's position but I'll take him over the disappointment that was Ian Stewart.

2004 Topps
Out in left field we have one of the many former Rookie of the Years who ended up playing for the Cubs in Todd Hollandsworth. I like that this card is kind of derpy. The posture says Little League picture day. His last name ends half way between his armpit and belt. The facial expression screams enthusiasm. Probably known more for analyzing the Cubs post retirement than playing for them, Hollandsworth just left CSN this past off season to be a color commentator for Fox Sports Florida and the Marlins.

2016 Topps Allen & Ginter
What a difference a couple of years make. A little while ago, centerfield would have been patrolled by Juan Pierre. In terms of games played, Dexter Fowler is mostly a Rockie. But that can never top being the leadoff man (and selected All-Star) for the 2016 World Champion Cubs. He is definitely missed this season as the Cubs haven't been able to find their groove offensively without him atop the lineup.

2006 Topps Bazooka
Wrapping up the starting lineup is Jeromy Burnitz out in right field. Despite a few more games overall in his stints with these two teams, Tyler Colvin again loses out at being a starter on this made up team. Burnitz just edges him out in the meaningful stats.

2005 Topps
Another position that almost goes by default is the closer. Coming out of the bullpen to lock things down is LaTroy Hawkins. Turk Wendell didn't have enough time in with the Rockies. And Manny Corpas didn't have enough time in with the Cubs. Journeyman Hawkins had multiple seasons with both and played the closer role in both places.

2002 Topps
Don Baylor is calling the shots from the dugout. The first ever Rockies manager stayed on for 6 seasons and earned a NL Manager of the Year award after leading them to the playoffs in their third season as the wildcard. He also led the Cubs through some lean early 2000's years.

There isn't much star power here. It would be interesting to see if this mashup team changes in the near future at all. The cards are definitely Topps heavy. I'll try to do better mixing them up next time but the early-mid 2000's where the bulk of this team comes from is light in my collection.

What do you think? Did I miss anybody?


  1. Gotta love the old school cellphone in the Zeile photograph - my how fast technology moves! Who knew that a little more than ten years later you'd be able to view this whole blog and access the entirety of the internet on that same type of device?

  2. Cool post, forgot Neifi and EY were Cubs.