Chicago Cubs: Chuck McElroy – 1991 to 1993
I realize that this group contains pitchers from my generation. Being 40, I’ve seen all of these guys take the mound for the Cubs. One that I almost had forgotten about but had to include was Chuck McElroy. He spent 14 years in the league, but some of his best were with the Cubs.
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Initially drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies, he was traded to the Cubs along with Bob Scanlan for, oddly enough, Mitch Williams. He still had his rookie status intact, although he did have some big league experience when he got to Chicago. I think when he got there, the Cubs thought they had pulled the rug from under the Phillies as they did in the Ryne Sandberg deal.
In McElroy’s first season, he finished 6-1 with a 1.95 ERA, a WHIP of 1.283 and an ERA+ of 199. All of this led to McElroy finishing fifth in NL Rookie of the Year voting. The winner that year? Hall of Famer, Jeff Bagwell.
He slipped a bit in his second season, but was still reliable, making 72 appearances out of the bullpen. He got his chance to close that season, but didn’t fare well as he saved six, but blew five of them. His ERA jumped to a respectable 3.55, but nowhere near his rookie season. His last year was 1993, and that winter he was traded to the Reds for nobody of value.