If you were not impressed with the position players or bench of the 2000 Cubs, then it shouldn't surprise you that the pitching staff was just as horrible, maybe even worse. The staff was 14th out of 16 NL teams in ERA (5.25) and was 15th in runs allowed, earned runs allowed, and home runs. This was a very bad staff.
And it was a huge staff too. A total of 24 different pitchers took the mound for the Cubs. Yet Topps had cards for only four of them, plus one more in the prospects cards. So once again, I will have to use cards from other brands to fill in the missing players. And even with that, there are still 14 with no Cubs card at all.
Jon Lieber was the "ace" of the staff, going 12-11. And his ERA was only 4.41, which was the best of all the starters. Wow, how bad were these guys??
Kevin Tapani made 30 starts and was 8-12 with a 5.01 ERA.
Kerry Wood was making his first of many comebacks in 2000. He missed all of 1999 and returned to the rotation in early May. I remember all the hype concerning his return. He even hit a home run in his first game back and picked up the win. But he was not the dominant pitcher he was his rookie season and finished 2000 with an 8-7 record.
Rookie Scott Downs made 18 starts and was 4-3.
Rookie Ruben Quevedo made 15 starts and was 3-10 with an whopping 7.47 ERA.
Ishmael Valdez was the last pitcher with double digit starts, coming to the Cubs from the Dodgers in late July. He was just as lousy as the others, going 2-4 with a 5.37 ERA. Fleer thought so much of him that they spelled his last name wrong.
Over the hill veteran Rick Aguilera was the closer in 2000. Though he had 29 saves, his ERA was 4.91, not exactly what you'd like to see in a closer. After the season he was granted free agency and never pitched in the major leagues again.
Kyle Farnsworth made 46 appearances and was 2-9 with a 6.43 ERA.
Daniel Garibay pitched in 30 games and was 2-8 with a 6.03 ERA.
Danny Young got into four games, pitched 3 innings and gave up 7 earned runs, good for an ERA of 21.00. He is also that last of the pitchers who got a Cubs card in 2000.
Here are the rest of the pitchers not considered card-worthy by Topps or anyone else:
Andrew Lorraine, 1-2, 6.47
Felix Heredia, 7-3. 4.76
Tim Worrell, 3-4, 2.47 (how did he get on the team with an ERA that low!)
Todd Van Poppel, 4-5, 3.75
Steve Rain, 3-4, 4.35
Jamie Arnold, 0-3, 6.61
Brian Williams, 1-1, 9.62
Mark Guthrie, 2-3, 4.82
Jerry Spradlin, 0-1, 8.40
Matt Karchner, 1-1. 6.14
Joey Nation, 0-2, 6.94
Phil Norton, 0-1, 9.35
Will Ohman, 1-0, 8.10
Oswaldo Mairena, 0-0, 18.00
Have you ever seen such a collection of ridiculously high ERAs?
Topps also made cards of three other pitchers who didn't make any appearances for the Cubs in 2000.
Steve Trachsel, who became a free agent after the 1999 season and signed with the Devil Rays.
Ben Christensen was the Cubs #1 draft choice in 1999. He never made it past AA.
This guy got a rookie card in 2000 also, but he did make it to the majors. Maybe you've heard of him. He looks so young and innocent on this card.