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: Tyler Chatwood in 2018

Hoping to add some depth to the starting rotation, the Chicago Cubs signed right-hander Tyler Chatwood to a three-year deal prior to the 2018 season. Chatwood had some success pitching mostly for the Colorado Rockies prior to that year, but 2018 was a season to forget.

That year, Chatwood got into 24 games, making 20 starts. His ERA was 5.30, which wasn’t good, but he gained a lot of attention – for all the wrong reasons – with his inability to throw strikes: In 103 2/3 innings, he walked a staggering 95 batters.

Unlike many of the stories on this list, the Chatwood story got better. In 2019, Chatwood found success as a reliever/spot starter, as he made five starts and 38 relief appearances, spanning 76 2/3 innings. He posted the second-best ERA of his eight-year career at 3.76, while the walk rate plummeted from 8.2 per nine innings to 4.3. The Cubs are counting on the right-hander to contribute in some capacity in 2020, the final year of his contract.

Chicago Cubs: Daniel Descalso in 2019

Hoping to add some power to their bench, the Chicago Cubs traded away Tommy La Stella and signed Daniel Descalso as a free agent. In 2018, Descalso posted career highs in home runs (13) and RBIs (57) with the Arizona Diamondbacks while showing an ability to play several different positions. It looked like he would be a helpful piece.

No one could have foreseen how mightily Descalso would struggle at the plate in 2019. While La Stella had a career year with the Angels, Descalso’s season started well enough; through April 24, he was batting .310 with an .842 OPS. After that, to say he struggled was an understatement: In 128 plate appearances, his AVG/OBP/SLG line was a putrid .100/.206/.145.

Next. . dark

It’s easy to forget, but Descalso is still under contract for 2020. It would be great if he could at least come close to getting back to the player he was prior to 2019. If so, that would be a big bonus for the Chicago Cubs.