Chicago Cubs: No. 31: Sean Marshall
Sean Marshall is one of the best left-handed relievers that the Chicago Cubs have had in recent memory. He’s forgotten largely because the Cubs weren’t good during his prime years, yet we can’t do this list without overlooking his achievements.
Marshall first appeared with the Cubs in 2006, first as a starter and then as a swing man. 2010 was the first year in which Marshall appeared exclusively out of the bullpen, and he had a big year, appearing in 80 games and pitching 74 2/3 innings.
His ERA was 2.65, while he struck out a career-high 90 batters (even more than when he was a full-time starter in 2006). Then, 2011 might have been his best year: a 2.26 ERA in 75 2/3 innings.
When Theo Epstein came in after the 2011 season and cleaned house, Marshall was part of the purge, as the Cubs sold high on him: They traded him to the Cincinnati Reds in a deal that included Travis Wood. Marshall was great for the Reds in 2012, but his career faded after that as he dealt with injuries.