The Ex-Cub Factor

One in an occasional series tracking the movements of former Cubs.

1. Justin Wilson.

Mets savior.

2. Chili Davis.

Hitting coach for the Mets.

3. James Rowson.

Remember when the Cubs brought in hitting guru Rudy Jaramillo on a high-dollar contract to, um, teach the team how to hit? Well, when he was finally fired in June 2012, Rowson took over.

After the 2013 season, Rowson was not retained by the Cubs, so he joined the Yankees as their minor league hitting instructor.

In 2017, the Twins hired him to be their hitting coach, and he's still there, leading a historic offensive season.


Rowson played for the Cook County Cheetahs in the independent Heartland League in 1998.

4. Josh Donaldson.

The Cubs selected the third baseman in the first round of the 2007 draft. The following year the team traded him to the A's along with Sean Gallagher, Matt Murton and Eric Patterson for Rich Harden and Chad Gaudin. Oops.

Donaldson slashed .268/.347.458/.805 in four seasons in Oakland, making one All-Star team, before the A's traded him to the Blue Jays for Franklin Barreto, Kendall Graveman, Brett Lawrie and Sean Nolin.

In four years in Toronto, Donaldson slashed .281/.383/.548/.931, making two more All-Star teams and winning the MVP in 2015.

On Aug. 31, 2018, Toronto traded Donaldson (with cash) to Cleveland for a player to be named later, who turned out to be Julian Merryweather.

Two months later, Donaldson reached free agency and signed with Atlanta. He's been a 4.5 WAR player so far for the Braves this season, with a slash line of .265/.379/.538/.918 - all except the BA are above his career numbers.

5. Amaury Telemaco.

The Cubs signed Telemaco as an undrafted free agent out of the Dominican Republic in 1991. He made it to the big leagues in 1996 and stuck with the Cubs with limited success until the team waived him in May 1998.

Telemaco spent a couple season with the Diamondbacks, and then six years with the Phillies, compiling a career 4.94 ERA/5.11 FIP.

He came to our attention this week because of this anecdote from former Cubs catcher and current Mariners manager Scott Servais, as told to FanGraphs:

"We had a right-hander named Amaury Telemaco," said Servais, who caught for four teams during an 11-year playing career. "He came up with the Cubs [in 1996], and his first outing was against the Astros. [Craig] Biggio, [Jeff} Bagwell; the Astros had a really good team. Anyway, we called him up, and his pitch was a slider. He could throw a slider whenever he needed to.

"I'm warming him up in the bullpen, and his slider's not breaking. It's a cement mixer. I say to the pitching coach as I'm walking in from the bullpen, 'Dude, I thought this guy's pitch was a slider.' He goes, 'Yeah, I know. That's what they said. Maybe he'll find it during the game.'

"The game starts, and the slider's not breaking. [But] the hitters haven't seen it before - it's like a backup slider - and they keep popping it up, or rolling it over. He's got a [no hitter] through five innings. And he's got nothing. I'm like, 'This is incredible.' He had some deception, but be had a fastball that was 90-91 [mph] and a slider that was right straight ahead.

"He goes out for the sixth inning, and gives up a single. The crowd at Wrigley Field gets on his feet and gives him a standing ovation. He takes his hat off, and tips his cap! I can hear the Astros dugout screaming at him . . . He was rolling. It was unbelievable."

I think I remember that game.

6. Chris Rusin.

The former Cubs reliever is now in the Rockies organization and "remaking himself as a starter at Triple-A Albuquerque."

He was originally selected by the Cubs in the fourth round of the 2009 draft and spent three seasons with the team between 2012 and 2014.

7. Terrance Gore.

The speedster with more stolen bases than hits in his major league career lurks in Triple-A Scranton for the Yankees.

On this date in 2007, Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Micah Owings went 4 for 6, with a double and two home runs, in a 12-6 win over the Atlanta Braves.

8. Sam Fuld.

Works in the Phillies front office.

9. Daniel Murphy.

Slashing .286/.336/.465/.801 for the Rockies.

10. Hector Rondon.

The former Cubs closer, who was essentially tossed aside when the team acquired Aroldis Chapman, is in his second season with the Astros, compiling a 3.75 ERA/4.64 FIP. He notched 15 saves for the 'Stros last year, but he's never been the same since Joe Maddon broke him.


Comments welcome.

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