3/31 Barney to start at 2B
Rookie second baseman Darwin Barney will start Friday for the Cubs in the season opener against the Pirates. Mike Quade announced the lineup before Thursday’s workout at Wrigley Field. Barney will be the first rookie to start Opening Day for the Cubs since Kosuke Fukudome did in 2008.
The rest of the lineup will be Fukudome in right, shortstop Starlin Castro, center fielder Marlon Byrd, third baseman Aramis Ramirez, first baseman Carlos Pena, catcher Geovany Soto, left fielder Alfonso Soriano, Barney and pitcher Ryan Dempster.
Barney, who hit a two-run homer in Wednesday’s intrasquad game in Mesa, Ariz., batted .340 in 21 games this spring. Jeff Baker, who hit .360 in 19 Cactus League games, will get the start at second base on Saturday against Pirates left Paul Maholm. Blake DeWitt, the Cubs’ other option at second base, struggled this spring, batting .186 in 21 games.
— Carrie Muskat