Chicago Cubs: Remembering the worst performances of the decade

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
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Chicago Cubs: Brett Anderson in 2017

The Chicago Cubs were in need of a fifth starter to replace Jason Hammel for the 2017 season. They eventually traded for Jose Quintana during the season, but before that, they took a flyer on southpaw Brett Anderson. It did not go well.

Anderson’s best season prior to 2017 was in 2015, when he made 31 starts with the Los Angeles Dodgers. That year, he posted a 3.69 ERA, but 2016 was a struggle for him. Those struggles continued with the Cubs in 2017, when Anderson made six starts and posted an 8.18 ERA. In his last outing with the Cubs, on May 6 against the New York Yankees, he allowed five runs and only recorded one out.

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The left-hander then went to the disabled list, and the Cubs released him in July. After signing with the Toronto Blue Jays, Anderson was critical of the Cubs on Twitter.

For whatever struggles that Anderson had in Chicago and throughout his career, he suddenly found it with the Oakland Athletics in 2019, making 31 starts and putting up a 3.89 ERA while making just $1.5 million.

Chicago Cubs: Brian Duensing in 2018

Brian Duensing had a long track record as a relief pitcher with the Minnesota Twins and Baltimore Orioles prior to signing with the Cubs before the 2017 season. It was a signing that didn’t get a lot of attention, but Duensing had one of the best years of his career in 2017, posting a 2.74 ERA in 62 1/3 innings.

How quickly things changed. Duensing allowed just one earned run in his first 23 outings in 2018, but then suddenly things unraveled in a hurry. Starting on May 29, over his next 25 games, spanning 21 innings of work, he allowed 31 earned runs, including 18 walks and six home runs allowed. Duensing did not pitch in the majors in 2019.