Chicago Cubs: Remember these players from the past decade

CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 17: Former Chicago Cubs player Kerry Wood throws out the ceremonial first pitch before game three of the National League Championship Series between the Chicago Cubs and the Los Angeles Dodgers at Wrigley Field on October 17, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 17: Former Chicago Cubs player Kerry Wood throws out the ceremonial first pitch before game three of the National League Championship Series between the Chicago Cubs and the Los Angeles Dodgers at Wrigley Field on October 17, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs: Kevin Gregg in 2013

2013 would be Dale Sveum’s second and final year as manager of the Chicago Cubs, as the team didn’t show much progress, finishing 66-96. It wasn’t entirely Sveum’s fault, as he didn’t have a great roster to work with. One reason 2013 was important was that it was Anthony Rizzo’s first full season with the team.

For a player to highlight from 2013, there were a few choices. I considered Nate Schierholtz, an outfielder who got into 137 games and hit 21 home runs with 68 RBIs, both second on the team behind Rizzo. There was also Dioner Navarro, who split time with Welington Castillo at catcher and batted .300 with 13 home runs. James Russell was again solid out of the bullpen, as was Blake Parker.

However, in this case, I went with closer Kevin Gregg. This was his second stint as Cubs closer; he also was the Cubs’ stopper in 2009, as the Cubs brought him in following a couple of successful seasons as the Florida Marlins closer.

The right-hander didn’t have a great season in 2009, posting a 4.72 ERA. He was better in 2013, signing with the team early in the season after the Los Angeles Dodgers released him. Gregg posted a 3.48 ERA and earned 33 saves, the second-highest total of a career that included 177 of them.

Gregg didn’t come back to the Cubs after the 2013 season. In fact, 2013 would be the last good season he had. He last pitched in the majors for the Cincinnati Reds in 2015.