Chicago Cubs: An often overlooked rotation piece from the past
Though he only pitched in three seasons as a Chicago Cub, Matt Clement was a popular name. Fans around Wrigley Field wore fake goatee beards on days he pitched to imitate the style of facial hair he had on his chin.
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The right-hander made 94 regular season starts fro the Cubs from 2002-2004 and sported a 3.80 ERA, 1.24 WHIP and 3.84 FIP. He got the win in the 2003 NL Central-clinching division game at Wrigley Field September 27 of that year.
After 2004 he went to the Boston Red Sox via free agency and played there in 2005 and 2006. In 2005 he was named to the MLB All-Star game. His final big-league game came on June 14, 2006, before season-ending surgery was needed and he missed the 2007 season. He tried to come back in 2008 with the Cardinals organization but never made it past Triple-A ball and sported a 5.23 ERA on the year in the minors.
Despite one last go with the Toronto Blue Jays in 2009, he could not make the team and officially retired. Clement decided to move back to his home town in Butler, Pennsylvania to coach the local high school’s basketball team.
Chicago Cubs: A stopgap presence before the prospects arrived
He may not have had a very productive bat, but Darwin Barney had a great glove at second base. Barney played four and a half seasons with the Cubs and most notably won a Gold Glove in 2012. As a Cub, he batted .244/.290/.335 in 542 games. One thing can be said for sure, he always gave 100 percent effort no matter the day or score.
Chicago dealt Barney to the Dodgers in July 2014, ending his stint with the Cubs. In late 2015 he was dealt to the Blue Jays after playing just two games with the Dodgers big league club that season. Barney played in 104 games with the Jays in 2016 and 129 with them in 2017. He was greeted with light cheers by the Cubs fans when the Jays visited Wrigley in 2017.
His final MLB game was October 1, 2017, against the Yankees. Last year he signed with the Rangers but was soon cut. Today he is part of of the Portland Diamond Project who is working to bring a team to the city of Portland.
Hopefully, this helped take you down memory lane. There are certainly a number of other guys that can fit this list, but these are a few recent ones.