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MLB Chicago Cubs

5 Surprising Stars For 2013 Chicago Cubs

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Five Surprising Stars For 2013 Chicago Cubs

Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

When the 2013 baseball season began six weeks ago, Jeff Samardzija, Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo were the most talked about names on the Chicago Cubs. These were the top players that were expected to carry their team to a winning season. Believe it or not, these three haven't quite lived up to expectations so far and have been overshadowed by several other players.

What has happened to this team? Why are the superstars that are supposed to never let them down struggling, yet these new guys are leading the Cubs to victory? Lesser-known names are quickly becoming the promising pitchers to bring a win in the starting pitching rotation, leaving Samardzija behind as the ace continues to hang around at 2-5 on the season.

And what about batting? The Cubs are still having difficulty with getting on base and driving in runs, a factor that is costing them too many games. Don't worry, Cubs fans. While some guys aren't putting up the numbers that are expected of them, there are a few other guys who are able to put the team on the board.

Let's not forget about the bullpen. While it may not come as a surprise to many, regular closer Carlos Marmol has had trouble on the mound, giving up countless walks and runs, destroying a handful of games for his team. Luckily, there is a guy sitting in the bullpen every single game that has the potential to successfully close out a game whenever he is called upon.

While the success of some of these players may come as a surprise, let's take this as a time to pay attention to them and appreciate the work they do for the Cubs.

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Welington Castillo

Jennifer Hilderbrand-USA TODAY Sports

During the first six weeks of the season, Castillo has one home run, seven RBIs and a batting average of .288. Towards the end of April, the catcher led the team with the highest batting average, with teammate Schierholtz close behind.

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Scott Feldman

Rob Grabowski

Feldman has been quite the surprise for the Cubs' pitching staff this year. The right-hander has been outstanding on the mound during his last three starts, one of which was his first career complete game. He currently has the second lowest ERA on the team at 2.53.

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Travis Wood

Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

Wood has been a surprise with his decent pitching this season considering he has always been a relief pitcher up until now. After being named a starting pitcher at the last minute during Spring Training, the left-hander has a record of 4-2 and has the lowest ERA of the pitching staff at 2.03.

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Nate Schierholtz

David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

While Schierholtz isn't the power hitter the Cubs are looking for, he has no problem getting on base. The right-fielder has a shocking batting average of .333 over his last 10 games, proving he is a valuable addition to this team.

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Kevin Gregg

Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Gregg might be the biggest surprise of all this year. The recently-named closer has pitched 9.1 scoreless innings this season and has only given up three hits and four walks. This is the kind of closer the Cubs have been looking for, and will need to keep if they want to win games.