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The Ex-Cub Factor

One in an occasional series tracking the movements of ex-Cubs.

1. Starlin Castro.

Because the Cubs are in the midst of a series against the Marlins down in Miami, it's a good time to check in with the once-future star shortstop who found it hard to focus over the course of 162 games.

It might be forgotten now, but Castro went to three All-Star Games over his six years as a Cub.

Castro lost his job at shortstop to Addison Russell that year, but after moving to second he actually upped his game at the plate. That December, though, the Cubs sent him to the Yankees for reliever Adam Warren and a player-to-be-named-later, who turned out to be infielder Brendan Ryan. The Cubs released Ryan six days after acquiring him.

Two years later, the Yankees broke Starlin's heart by trading him to the Marlins - after playing that season in his fourth All-Star Game.

Castro has wanted out of South Florida ever since - and he's still a productive player, slashing 278/.329/.400 last season.

On Monday night, he batted third for the Marlins against the Cubs in the series opener.

2. Tommy La Stella.

Before traveling to Miami, the Cubs split two games at home against the Angels - the rubber game of the series was snowed out and will be made up later.

The games they did get in brought La Stella back to Wrigley Field for the first time since the Cubs dealt the pinch-hitting specialist to Anaheim for lefty reliever Conor Lillis-White, who is currently on the IL down in AA-Tennessee.

La Stella's real replacement, of course, was utility dude Daniel Descalso.

Meanwhile, after a tough spring that put him on the bubble, La Stella hit three home runs over two games against the Brewers before helping lead the Angels to their 6-5 win over his former team.

True, he's only slashing .184/.311/.447, but he's a .2 WAR, so he's still marginally better than a replacement-level player.

3. Brett Anderson.

Brett Anderson was brought in to be the fifth starter in 2017 and turned in a disastrous 22 innings with an 8.18 ERA (FIP of 4.52, to be fair) until the Cubs had had enough, or maybe he got injured, I don't quite remember. He was DFA'd that July.

He caught on with the Blue Jays, faring only slightly better, then caught on with the A's last season, faring only slightly better than the slightly better he had fared with the Blue Jays.

So what's gotten into him this year? He's 3-0 with a 2.63 ERA (3.90 FIP).

4. Scott Sanderson.

Dead at 62.

5. Dan Straily.

Straily is one of those guys who appears in this space a lot, because he gets hurt, he gets sent down, he gets called up, whatever, he's a transaction machine.

Now for something completely different from the Stray Man: He carried a no-hit bid into the 5th inning on Monday night as a member of the Orioles' rotation.

6. Edwin Jackson.

Jackson also appears here so much I'm about to put this column's first moratorium on him.

This time it's because he's just agreed to sign with A's, who become the 13th team he's played with.


Comments welcome.

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