Amid hot streak, LeMahieu making Cubs regret trade

  • The Rockies' DJ LeMahieu greets teammate Carlos Gonzalez at the plate after they both scored on Gonzalez's home run in the ninth inning Monday night.

    The Rockies' DJ LeMahieu greets teammate Carlos Gonzalez at the plate after they both scored on Gonzalez's home run in the ninth inning Monday night. Associated Press

By Renee Griffin
Updated 7/27/2015 11:22 PM

With this year's trade deadline approaching, a ghost of Cubs trades past sat in the visitors' dugout at Wrigley Field Monday: Rockies second baseman DJ LeMahieu, who was a piece in Theo Epstein's very first trade as Cubs president in 2011.

The transaction, which sent LeMahieu and Tyler Colvin to Colorado for Casey Weathers and Ian Stewart, isn't exactly a bright spot on the record of Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer.


Weathers has yet to escape the minors and now pitches for a Cleveland farm team. Stewart, a third baseman and the main target in the trade, was released in 2013 after struggling with injuries and getting sent to Triple-A Iowa. He hit .201 as a Cub and is currently a free agent.

Meanwhile, LeMahieu is having a career year, hitting .314 and boasting the MLB's longest active hit streak. He extended that streak to 17 games when he went 3-for-4 against the Cubs on Monday night, with 2 RBI and 2 runs scored.

The 27-year-old also was selected to the 2015 All-Star Game, starting for the National League when Dee Gordon of the Miami Marlins was injured.

"I thought I had a chance (at the all-star selection), but there were four or five other second basemen who were probably just as deserving. I was shocked but very excited when I got it," LeMahieu said. "Starting was pretty cool, just being in the locker room with all those other players."

Drafted by the Cubs in the second round in 2009, LeMahieu made his MLB debut at Wrigley Field as a 22-year-old on May 30, 2011. In 37 games with the Cubs, he hit .250.

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"It was a pretty special day when I got called up here," LeMahieu said before Monday's game as he looked onto the same field where his major-league career began.

Epstein took over operations in October 2011, and LeMahieu found himself en route to the Rockies a couple of months later.

LeMahieu said he was disappointed to have to leave Chicago, but it motivated him to boost his play in Colorado. In his first three seasons with the Rockies, he excelled defensively -- earning a Gold Glove in 2013 -- and averaged .281 at the plate.

"I was upset when I first got traded," he said. "I was kind of the throw-in. I don't think they really knew me, since I was their first trade."

Nearly four years later, LeMahieu said he doesn't hold a grudge against Cubs management.

"There are no hard feelings," LeMahieu said. "I'm just excited to be here (with the Rockies). It's a great opportunity and I have great teammates."

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