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Chicago Cubs: Five Current Players Who Are Nightmares of Frustration

Yahoo Contributor Network
COMMENTARY | Are there two better words that go together than "Cubs" and "frustration?"

Yeah, probably, but the Chicago Cubs (and their long-suffering fanbase) know frustration like most of us know our family members. And since all teams have frustration, it should come as no surprise that the Cubs have a ton of it.

Here are five current players who have a great time adding to it:

Edwin Jackson - Starting Pitcher
Big contracts are almost always bad news. And in the grand scheme of things, Jackson's four-year, $52 million contract isn't that big. It's still bad news.

When you add a statistically average pitcher together with that semi-big contract, trouble's a brewin'. And so far, Jackson's contract combined with performance is right on schedule (8-18, 4.98 ERA in 2013). He didn't get his first win until mid-May, didn't get his second win until mid-June, and still has three years at $13 million to come. Brace yourselves.

Jeff Samardzija - Starting Pitcher
2012: Jeff Samardzija is an ace pitcher, I swear. He goes 9-13 with a 3.81 ERA.
2013: Jeff Samardzija is an ace pitcher, I swear. He goes 8-13 with a 4.34 ERA.
2014: Jeff Samardzija is an ace pitcher, I swear. To be announced.

The man pitches some great games but at 29 (in eight days), you have to wonder when his supposed ace-caliber pitching is going to show up for good.

Starlin Castro - Shortstop
Castro has never been an efficient shortstop -- to the tune of 105 errors in four seasons -- but there was a time when Cubs fans could look at him and tolerate the inconsistent defensive play because he was a .300 hitter with developing power and a superb knack for making contact.

His .245 average in 2013 (along with the inconsistent defensive play) has Cubs fans in a semi-panic. The defense is much less tolerable if the offense isn't there. It might be a little early to panic over it, but the thought has officially been placed in our heads: Castro might not be the perennial All-Star it looked like he might be.

Welington Castillo - Catcher
So, like, are you planning on being the franchise backstop or no?

Castillo continues to show signs of improvement, but has been consistently slowed by injuries -- making it harder and harder to figure out what exactly the Cubs have at the position. He played in only 52 games in 2012 and 113 in 2013.

The low game totals (and only being 26 years old) makes further growth realistic, but showing stretches of success can only go so far if you'll be injured sometime in the next month.

Darwin Barney - Second Base
He is so good in the field.

He is so bad at the plate.

Brian is a lifelong Chicago Cubs follower. Living in Illinois his entire life has given him a chance to closely follow and report Chicago sports as a freelance writer through Yahoo Contributor Network and Yahoo Sports. He is also a senior majoring in Creative Writing.

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