3/31 Barney hurt – UPDATED
Cubs second baseman Darwin Barney was expected to miss Monday’s season opener because of a deep cut on his left knee suffered in the last exhibition game. Barney was injured when he crashed into a fence at Minute Maid Park along the right field line in the third inning on Saturday. He needed five stitches on his knee.
“That’s a bummer,” Jeff Samardzija said Sunday about losing Barney for the season opener. “Darwin’s my boy back there. Him and [shortstop Starlin Castro] up the middle, you really develop a relationship with those guys. They’re the guys you can talk to and shoot stuff off of during the game. It’s nothing we’re not used to. We can adjust to things for sure.”
Brent Lillibridge will start at second base Monday. A official announcement on whether Barney will be placed on the DL will be made Monday after the medical staff has a chance to re-evaluate him. Infielder Alberto Gonzalez did make the trip to Pittsburgh in case Barney is sidelined.
“It’s a tough break for Barney but I’ll do my job and fill in until he’s healthy and get off to a good start,” Lillibridge said Sunday.
The Cubs have had their share of injuries this spring. Pitchers Matt Garza (strained lat) and Scott Baker (strained right elbow) will open the season on the disabled list along with third baseman Ian Stewart (left quad). The Cubs already have placed pitcher Arodys Vizcaino (right elbow) on the 60-day DL.
– Carrie Muskat