Chicago Cubs

(National League, North Division)

Holy cow! The Cubs powered through a 107-year title drought and burst through with a World Series win in 2016 – home to Ernie Banks, Fergie Jenkins, Ryne Sandberg and Tinker, Evers & Chance. “Let’s play two!”

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Active 25 Man Roster

Catchers & Infielders:

  • C – Gabby Hartnett
  • C – Willson Contreras
  • 1B – Anthony Rizzo
  • 2B – Ryne Sandberg
  • SS – Ernie Banks (1B/3B)
  • 3B – Aramis Ramirez
  • MI – Javy Baez (2B/SS/3B)
  • CI – Ron Santo (3B)

Outfielders:

  • LF – Billy Williams (CF/RF)
  • CF – Hack Wilson (LF)
  • RF – Sammy Sosa (CF)
  • OF – Kiki Cuyler (LF/CF/RF)
  • OF – Kris Bryant (1B/3B/LF/RF)

Starting Pitchers:

  • SP – Mordecai Brown
  • SP – Ed Reulbach
  • SP – Hippo Vaughn
  • SP – Jake Arrieta
  • SP – Bill Hutchinson
  • SP – Ferguson Jenkins

Relief Pitchers:

  • CL – Bruce Sutter
  • SU – Lee Smith
  • RP – Pedro Strop
  • SP – Claude Passeau
  • RP – Jack Taylor
  • RP – Kyle Hendricks

On the Farm

Catchers & Infielders:

  • 1B/3B – Stan Hack
  • 2B/LF – Alfonso Soriano
  • C/1B – Frank Chance
  • 2B/3B – Billy Herman
  • SS – Joe Tinker
  • C/SS/INF/RF – King Kelly
  • 1B/OF – Phil Cavaretta
  • C/1B – Cap Anson

Outfielders:

  • OF – Bill Nicholson
  • LF – Kyle Schwarber

Pitchers:

  • P – Lon Warneke
  • P – Clark Griffith
  • P – Don Elston
  • P – Paul Assenmacher
  • P – Bill Lee

Building the Roster: Chicago Cubs

With every team, we started building their all-time 25-man and 40-man rosters by using the Hall of Fame as a starting point, figuring that a player enshrined in baseball’s immortal Hall would certainly qualify to make his team’s all-time roster.

Almost all the Hall of Fame members are easily identifiable with one team so it’s a simple way to start every roster with near-inarguable selections. The only notable players Chicago had to fight for were Greg Maddux and Andre Dawson.

Greg Maddux

Chicago: 10 years, 2 All-Star Appearances, 1 Cy Young Award, 17.4 WAR, 3.61 ERA, 133 Wins, 47 CG, 1305 K, 14 SHO

Atlanta: 11 years, 6 All-Star appearances, 3 Cy Young Awards, 66.2 WAR, 2.63 ERA, 194 Wins, 61 CG, 1828 K, 21 SHO + 1 World Series Title

Andre Dawson

Montreal: 11 years, 3-time All-Star, 0 MVPs, 48.4 WAR, .280 AVG, 828 Runs, 838 RBI, 225 HR, 253 SB

Chicago: 6 years, 5-time All-Star, 1 MVP, 18.7 WAR, .285 AVG, 431 Runs, 587 RBI, 174 HR, 57 SB

Chicago deserves credit for drafting and developing Maddux, and he chose to go back there after his run in Atlanta wound up, but there’s really no denying that Maddux’s best years and best baseball was played in Atlanta.

Just the opposite is true for Dawson, who won his only MVP and had his best seasons in Chicago, but his body of work in Montreal is impossible to deny.

As with every team, we are trying to build an active roster with 13 position players and 12 pitchers, and then a 15-player inactive roster of guys who just missed the cut, but remain valuable as callups in case of slumps or injuries.

The 13 active position players are usually two catchers, six infielders, and five outfielders. The stats are built around the average of the player’s best three consecutive seasons.

The National Baseball Hall of Fame gives us a good start here. Cooperstown gives us Gabby Hartnett, Ryne Sandberg, Ernie Banks, Billy Williams, Hack Wilson, Mordecai Brown, Fergie Jenkins, Lee Smith, Bruce Sutter, King Kelly, Cap Anson, Ron Santo, Frank Chance, Joe Tinker, and Billy Herman.

The Hall of Fame gives us 15 of our 40-man roster, and WAR (Wins Above Replacement), a great stat for looking at the all-around contribution to a team for both hitters and pitchers, can help us with the rest.

We get lots of help here, as in order we find: Sammy Sosa, Stan Hack, Mark Grace, Johnny Evers, Bill Nicholson, Ned Williamson, Phil Cavarretta, Jimmy Ryan, Bill Dahlen, Anthony Rizzo, George Gore, Andy Pafko, Kiki Cuyler, Woody English, Johnny King, Riggs Stephenson, Aramis Ramirez, Heinie Zimmerman, and Kris Bryant.

Javy Baez/Kyle Schwarber/Willson Contreras merit consideration based on the amazing start to their careers, and Alfonso Soriano is notable for his brief but valuable Cubs tenure.

Once plugged into the simulation software, we looked at their OPS (on-base + slugging percentage) and their defensive rankings and they break down like this:

CATCHER: Gabby Hartnett, Willson Contreras
FIRST BASE: Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant (sometimes)
SECOND BASE: Ryne Sandberg, Alfonso Soriano (sometimes)
SHORTSTOP: Ernie Banks, Javy Baez
THIRD BASE: Aramis Ramirez, Kris Bryant
LEFT FIELD: Billy Williams, Alfonso Soriano (sometimes)
CENTER FIELD: Hack Wilson, Kiki Cuyler (sometimes)
RIGHT FIELD: Sammy Sosa, Kiki Cuyler (sometimes)

That leave inactive roster options Jimmy Ryan, Riggs Stephenson, Phil Cavaretta, King Kelly, Kyle Schwarber, Cap Anson, Ron Santo, Frank Chance, Billy Herman, and Joe Tinker.

For the pitching staff we’re looking for six starters and six relievers. Bear in mind that across the whole game you will see dynamic, outstanding starting pitchers that can’t crack an all-time rotation but are better served as relievers on a team than sitting inactive.

Four Hall of Famers have reserved spots on the pitching staff – Mordecai Brown, Fergie Jenkins, Lee Smith, and Bruce Sutter. With the 27 players on the total roster we have room for thirteen more pitchers.

Once we dug into the career WAR rankings (as a Cub) we came up with these names: Rick Reuschel, Clark Griffith, Bill Hutchison, Pete Alexander, Hippo Vaughn, Charlie Root, Carlos Zambrano, Bob Rush, Claude Passeau, Lon Warneke, Ed Reulbach, Larry Corcoran, and Bill Hands.

Shorter but brilliant Cubs tenures put Kerry Wood, Rick Sutcliffe, Carlos Marmol, and Ryan Dempster in the conversation as well.

We looked at their overall numbers in the simulation software and leaned heavily on ERA to come up with these designations:

STARTING ROTATION: Mordecai Brown, Ed Reulbach, Hippo Vaughn, Jake Arrieta, Bill Hutchinson, Fergie Jenkins,
RELIEVERS: Claude Passeau, Kyle Hendricks, Pedro Strop, Jack Taylor
SET-UP: Lee Smith
CLOSER: Bruce Sutter

The inactive pitcher options are Don Elston, Paul Assenamcher, Clark Griffith, Lon Warneke and Bill Lee.

So how did we do?

If the Cubs are your favorite squad you know them better than us. What did we get right?

Where did we go wrong?

Should Sutter be setting up Smith?

Can we have an all-time Cubs team withour the Shawn-O-Meter?

Where is Henry Rowengartner?

What batting order would you suggest versus lefties and righties?

Let us know in the forums below and if you make a compelling case we will adapt it in-game. We want every squad to be the best they possibly can be and appreciate your help fine-tuning the Braves for Eternal Baseball.

Visit Our Chicago Cubs Discussion Board

Give your 2 cents on the composition of the roster!

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