4/22 Cubs vs. Reds

* On Monday, the Cubs open a three-game series against the Reds, and it will be the first head to head match up between reigning Gold Glove second baseman Darwin Barney and Cincinnati’s Brandon Phillips. Barney leads the Majors in nearly every defensive category at second base since the start of the 2012 season. He tops all ML second basemen with a .997 fielding percentage, an .852 ultimate zone rating, a 5.20 range factor per nine innings, 5.21 total chances per nine innings and 321 putouts in that span. Last season, Barney tied a ML record with 141-consecutive games at second base without making an error.

* Barney’s teammates haven’t been as successful. The Cubs rank second in the Majors with 17 errors this season, trailing only the Nationals (18). Those miscues have led to 14 unearned runs, tied with the Astros for the most in the Majors. All of the unearned runs have occurred behind the starting pitchers.

* The Cubs went 1-for-17 with runners in scoring position in three games vs. the Brewers, and now are batting .140 (17-for-127) with RISP, lowest in the Majors.

* Looking ahead, here are the pitching matchups:

Monday: LHP Travis (1-1, 1.83) vs. RHP Mike Leake (1-0, 4.26)
Tuesday: RHP Carlos Villanueva (1-0, 1.29) vs. LHP Tony Cingrani (1-0, 1.80)
Wednesday: RHP Jeff Samardzija (1-3, 3.38) vs. RHP Mat Latos (0-0, 2.73)

— Carrie Muskat


I really think we need to not focus on a competition between Phillips and Barney. Phillips has already shown a non-sportsmanlike attitude about the whole thing. This is a game between two teams, not two 2nd basemen. I think Barney would agree that we just need to move on and play ball. He got the GG. Case closed. This is a new year, a new team and a new competition.

Let’s see, who was it that had a hand in turning Barney into the fielder that he is? Oh yeah, that guy who wasn’t good enough to hire as Cubs manager. Who was that again?

You mean the guy that managed multiple first place finishes at AAA? The guy that was told to go down, put in his time etc. etc.??? The guy that not only did all that but also WON? WON! THAT guy? I can’t recall his name. Not that this is Sveum’s fault (not at all) but I think that other guy might have done something about his three hitter hitting below .200 and his ALLMIGHTY CLEAN UP HITTER being stuck on TWO RBI!! But this is all on Hoystein now. The debacle that was Hendyr/Quade is under the bridge. We are surely being told to WAIT. And little choice do we have. I still think Epstein’s plan will work out and don’t mind going through such agonizing games for a few years, it’s just a different kind of agonizing from the Hendry days, THIS agony makes sense whereas Hendry’s agony was laugh out loud SILLY. Can’t blame this season’s poor play on the lack of the other guy managing…we knew this was coming and now must get through it.

Maybe that guy could have gotten Castro to live up to his defensive potential.

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