Has Theriot broken string of failed Cub shortstop experiments?

With the news that Cubs shortstop Ryan Theriot will sign with the team for $2.6 million that might mean something.  Assuming he doesn’t get hurt or he doesn’t get moved to second base, this will be the first time the Cubs will have the same player starting at the shortstop position for three years in a row since 1997 when the Cubs started Shawon Dunston there. 

‘Thunderpup’ was a mainstay at short for over ten years for the Cubs.  Since he left for the Pirates in 1997, there hasn’t been a solid starter for the Cubs for more than two years straight.  If Theriot continues playing short in 2010, his third straight year.  Maybe the Cubs can break that streak.

Here are the string of shortstops the Chicago Cubs have used since Shawon Dunston and up until Ryan Theriot. 

Let’s start with the most current and move backwards. 


2006: Ronny Cedeno

I know a few Cub fans who were really hot on this guy when he came up.  Ronny started out hot in 2005 by hitting .300 in 89 at-bats.  Reality set in during 2006 when he started playing full time.  He batted .245 with 109 strikeouts.

The Cubs unloaded Cedeno after 2008 and he proceeded to hit .209 with Seattle and Pittsburgh.

2005: Neifi Perez
neifi perez Neifi played a full year in 2005 (609 ab) and got some big numbers but he really represented the Dusty Baker era of the Cubs by not being able to take walk (.298 OBP)

2004: Ramon Martinez

Who?  Martinez is now probably best known for being Geovany Soto’s cousin.  Admittedly, Ramon didn’t put in a whole lot of time at short (he played 73 games there), splitting time with Nomar Garciaparra and Neifi Perez.

Hey look! There’s Theriot in the photo.

2002-2003: Alex Gonzalez
AlexGonzalez This particular Alex Gonzalez, actually managed to start at shortstop for two full years for the Cubs.  His numbers were a bit sub-par (.312 and .295 OBP respectively).  After his error in the fateful playoff game against the Marlins, his days were numbered though.

2000-2001: Ricky Gutierrez
ricky gutierrez A 1998 first round pick, Gutierrez gave the Cubs two full years at short and didn’t do half bad (.276 and .290 with 11 and 10 homers).  He probably had his best years with the Cubs. 

1999: Jose Hernandez
josehernandez I like this photo of Jose.  He looks like he’s hitting one out.  Or most likely, doing what he does best, striking out (he later led the league twice in Ks), 

1998: Jeff Blauser
FLAgriculture Blauser One of the players that you forget played for the Cubs.  He ended his career for Chicago in 1998-1999.  We somehow put up with his .219 batting average in 119 games in 1998.

Honorable mention goes to Rey Sanchez who gave Dunston a break at short in 1996.  Others worth mentioning during the period of 1997-2006 are Jose Nieves and Nomar Garciaparra,

Is positional consistency a thing of the past in an MLB team now? I guess we’ll see when/if the Cubs decide to move Theriot to second base.  It does make for an interesting trivia question, though.

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