4/1 Barney to DL
If Darwin Barney suffered a cut anywhere else on his leg, he might have been in the Cubs’ lineup on Monday. But the Gold Glove second baseman has a deep laceration on his left knee cap, and will be sidelined at least two weeks. Barney, injured in the final exhibition game Saturday at Minute Maid Park when he crashed into the wall along the right field line, was placed on the 15-day DL, retroactive to Sunday. The Cubs selected the contract of infielder Alberto Gonzalez and added him to the 40-man roster, and Brent Lillibridge started at second in the Cubs’ season opener against the Pirates.
“You spend your whole offseason thinking about today [Opening Day] — when you’re in the gym, when you’re pushing yourself,” Barney said Monday at PNC Park, wearing a large bandage on his left knee. “We had a good spring as a club. We did a lot of things positively. It’s unfortunate but the good thing is we have guys who can fill in like Lillibridge and Gonzalez who are good players.
“I feel very comfortable with Lillibridge out there,” Barney said. “He’s a great player. Good thing is, we’re a team, and I’m still a part of it, and I can still be out there helping out. With [pitcher Matt] Garza not here, maybe I’ll take over his yelling role.”
Barney has photos of the cut on his knee, and it’s not pretty.
“You take five stitches anywhere else on the body, he would’ve been playing,” Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. “It’s right on the middle of the knee cap and anytime you bend it right now, it would rupture the stitches. It’s unfortunate. He’d be playing if it was on the shin or something like that. Unfortunately, it was right on the knee cap.”
Whether Lillibridge will play every day was to be determined, Sveum said.
“We’ll wing that and see how it all goes,” he said.
— Carrie Muskat