I saw an interesting tweet yesterday that said that this year the Cubs have seven All Stars; four years ago they didn't have seven players that belonged in the major leagues.
Sad, but true.
I thought I'd take a look at the positions the seven All Stars play and see who their counterparts were four years ago.
First Base...Bryan LaHair was the Cubs first baseman early in the season and had a career year; he was an All Star in 2012....and was out of the majors by the end of the season. A rookie named Anthony Rizzo took over. Belong in the major leagues?? NO
Second Base....Darwin Barney had arguably the best year of his career. His record setting errorless streak propelled him to the 2012 Gold Glove. He also had career-bests in homers and RBIs... Belong in the major leagues?? OF COURSE...ITS DARWIN BARNEY!!
Shortstop...Starlin Castro was the golden boy. He was an All Star for the second straight season and we kept saying, "Just wait till he matures." We gave up on the wait. Belong in the major leagues?? YES
Third Base...Ian Stewart was supposed to be the third baseman, but he stunk. Josh Vitters was the future and got a late season look, but he stunk too. Luis Valbuena ended up with the job by default. Belong in the major leagues?? NO, NO, YES
Center Field...Speedy Tony Campana was fun to watch, but wasn't very good. Belong in the major leagues?? NO
#1 Starter...Jeff Samardzija was at the top of the rotation, he and his 9-13 record. Belong in the major leagues?? YES
#2 Starter...Travis Wood was 6-13...pretty impressive for your #2 guy, wasn't it? Belong in the major leagues?? NOT AS A STARTER...TO THE BULLPEN
FYI...Wood and Rizzo are the only current Cubs that were on the 2012 roster.
I'd have to say that the 2016 team is a significant upgrade over 2012!