3/24 Quade on roster moves
Darwin Barney has had an impressive spring camp and appears to have passed Blake DeWitt on the Cubs’ depth chart at second base. This will be Barney’s first Opening Day on a big league roster; he batted .299 last season at Iowa and was hitting .359 this spring.
“He’s played himself into significant time and, it’s Spring Training,” manager Mike Quade said. “[Barney] is making progress. He does a lot of things outside of the batter’s box that you really like. He’s given himself every chance to be an important part of this infield. Now we’ll go north and see what happens in April.”
DeWitt has struggled. He’s been playing only second base this spring but will now play some third because the Cubs may need to use him as a backup there.
“We’ll be patient with him,” Quade said of DeWitt. “He’s 25 years old. He’s a .260 lifetime big league hitter and we’ll expect him to get a lot better.
“We want to give him a chance to develop as much as he could at second base,” Quade said. “That’s still a work in progress, there’s no question. He did a good job for us last year and his numbers at the big league level were good. … He needs to get better and he will.”
Reed Johnson, a non-roster invitee on the Cubs for the second time, also made the Opening Day roster. He was hitting .231. Fernando Perez, acquired from the Rays in the Matt Garza deal, hit .143 in 16 games and was optioned to Triple-A Iowa.
“I believe Fernando needs to go play,” Quade said. “The guy’s blessed with unbelievable speed.”
— Carrie Muskat