5/8 Barney gets day off

Darwin Barney, stuck in an 0-for-21 skid, took time Wednesday to hit the ball hard. Dale Sveum and Barney had an early hitting session at Wrigley Field in which the Cubs manager wanted his infielder to try to relax.

“It was nice to bring him out today and let him hit and not think about any mechanics, and get a mindset about hitting the ball as hard as he can,” Sveum said. “There were no mechanics going on out there.”

Sveum and Barney spent time together in Arizona for one week to work on the second baseman’s swing but whatever they did at that time has been “abandoned,” the manager said. The goal on Wednesday was to take some “brand new white balls and hit them as far as you can,” Sveum said.

Barney was batting .147 overall with a .275 on-base percentage.

“It’s confidence as much as anything,” Sveum said of the second baseman’s problems, “and understanding your job is to hit the ball hard and not try to do something with it every at-bat, just get a good pitch and hit it hard instead of trying to hit it to this field or that field or whatever. That was [the goal Wednesday] to have one mindset, hit the ball as hard as you can.”

– Carrie Muskat

57 Comments

This is a good, normal and logical decision. If players don’t produce they should at the very least get some time off in order to “re-group” and also give some other players a chance TO PRODUCE. Hello Marmol and Soriano….remember them Dale? They’re on your team too….

Am concerned about Barney. Is intelligent decision to give the man at least one day off. He looks lost at the dish. I welcome analysis of what you all think his issues are. I recall him turning on an inside pitch a couple weeks ago and jerking it over a wall for home run. That was impressive, but can’t recall him doing anything remarkably offensively since.

Maybe that is the case and the pulled homerun got in is head? He should not try to do more than he is capable of doing and that being a singles hitter, up the middle or more so to the right field. It’s as if someone has gotten him to be a bigger run producer due to the lack of runs being produced by the usual suspects. When we see Barney start to slap the ball to the right side then we will know he is back and the hits will fall in. Not enough to make him a great hitter but enough to go along with his defense, making him a valuable player. If the hits don’t come soon even his defense won’t (and shouldn’t) save him. One trick ponies won’t get us to the next level. Barney, Soriano, Valbuena, Dejesus and Schierholtz may all have their days numbered sooner than they think.

this just in… people finally realize defense isn’t as valuable as an average offense……. fans clapping crowd roaring…. snap back to reality and understand who i am talking to here……………. BARNEY SUCKS!!!!!!!!!! people….. he could swing as hard as he wants its still going to be a dribbler at the 2basemen……. how about a NEGATIVE WAR to go with that fluke of a gold glove award? Sure don’t mind if I do says Barney

AFTER THE GAMES TODAY NEED A DAY OFF BECAUSE HE IS NOT MANAGING THE GAME OR PLAYER AT BAT TO HIT INTO ALL THOSE DP WHEN A BUNT OR A HIT AND RUN COULD HAVE GOT THE TEAM EXTRA RUN THAT IS ON HIM TO TALK ABOUT A WINNING WAY AND NOT TO MANAGE IN A WINNING WAY PLAY THE GAME THE OLD WAY TELL HITTER WHAT TO DO LET THEM KNOW WHAT NEED TO BE DONE IN SOME AT BAT TALK TO THEM ABOUT TAKING ONE FOR THE TEAM PLEASE GIVE CASTRO SOME TIME OFF HE IS IN TO MUCH OF A HURRY HE NEED TO SLOW HIS A BAT DOWN

I have to wonder at all the negative comments regarding Darwin Barney. People don’t realize that baseball has a defensive side to it. Barney shines there. He prevented 28 runs last year. How many ball games is that?
Lets get to the other side of the field with STARLIN CASTRO. 6 errors already this season. The last 3 years totaled 80 errors. Why doesn’t Castro get time off for poor performance?? What makes him the GOLDEN PLAYER that can do no wrong?? Is he protected that he can’t be given time off?

Fred by Peoria, Illinois

Thank you Fred for your observations about Barney and the runs he has saved with his stellar defense. Would like to know how many runs Castro’s errors cost the team. Castro is a talented hitter, Barney is a talented defenseman. Barney gets time off for not hitting, Castro does seem to be untouchable and can continue to rack up errors. Que sera sera. Hope Barney will be back soon.

because he produces wins…. barney preventing 28 runs is FAR FAR Less than the runs Castro PRODUCES!!!!!! Defense is fine and dandy but offense and pitching is where you WIN BALL GAMES!!!

also if you wanna talk defense Castro Vs Barney…. well this year so far Barney has COST US one run with his defense WHILE castro has at least cost us 0…….. yep thats right… the kid is improving……. OMG…. well well well…. shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

What does Castro’s 6 errors mean? Shouldn’t he get time off for sloppy like the other players get? Sounds like favoritism to me. Possibly reverse discrimination?

I’m wondering why Barney wasn’t in the line-up today. Was it the new “Cubs Way” of punishing a player with time off for poor performance? He’s having a hitting slump. Historically, it happens every time someone messes with his batting. He generally hits around .250. LEAVE HIM ALONE! When will the Cubs realize that they have the best defensive 2nd baseman to ever step on the field? (Sandberg has for years been recognized as the best, and Barney blew his records out of the water), He just happens to hit .250. Capitalize on this great player’s strength, and stop stressing him out about not being a powerhouse hitter. A .250 batting average is not horrible, especially for a man of Barney’s slight stature.

And speaking of “The Cubs Way”, when is Starlin Castro going to get his day off for poor performance? He’s definitely not going to break any fielding records, except for maybe the most errors, with 6 already. Yeah, he hits, but he costs us with his sloppy play. Barney saved 28 runs last year. No one else was even close.

It looks like the Cubs are going to do what they are famous for; they’re going to take a great player and trade him off so he can be great somewhere else, and keep the guy who keeps screwing up. After 54 years as a Die-Hard Cubs Fan, if the Cubs decide Barney’s not their man and trade him off, they’re trading me off too. I’m tired of poor players getting the limelight and good ones being shuffled of somewhere else.

barney is not the best 2B ever……… defensively or any other way……. shut up… he shouldn’t have even got the GG last year but got a favorable call or two on booted balls… I guarantee you this year he doesn’t repeat

also barney saving 28 runs defensively is a blip on the radar… an anomaly… not going to happen this year

I hear you. But an inconvenient truth perhaps is, Barney is not hitting .250. He`s hitting .147. I would love to see him at .250, please believe myself. But .147 does not cut it. We speak of the Mendoza line as .200, and that is regarded as pathetic. Enou

Thanks for not permitting myself to complete my sentence. Not! Enough said. Is what I wanted to write. I am becoming more and more annoyed at how this site tries to censor my comments.

I agree that .147 is not good. The point I was trying to make is that, very recently, changes were made to Darwin’s stance and swing. Historically, any changes are followed by a significant slump, as we are seeing now. When left alone, he is a pretty consistent .250 hitter. I think the Cubs should leave Darwin alone when it comes to his hitting. .250 is not good, but acceptable, considering what he has to offer in the area of defense. He’s off the scale. Keeping him off the field is only going to stress him more. Do we want to stress him to the point where the fielding goes, too?

I don’t know if you have ever met Darwin, but he is incredible. The Cubs say they are looking for role models for their young players. While Darwin is in only his 3rd season, there couldn’t be anyone better. His work ethic and dedication are unbelievable. There is so much more to look at in this young man than his batting average, which will sort itself out. I don’t want to see this wonderful talent and personality be another of the “ones that got away” from the Cubs. There have been far too many of those. Darwin is a keeper.

Fred – You are a breath of fresh air on this blog! You are absolutely right to have observed the changes the hitting coaches have made to Barney’s approach at the plate. No wonder he is in a slump! I can only pray that he can get his mojo back after being so messed over. Those of us who know Darwin Barney know that he is of the finest character, his work ethic and dedication are, as you say, unbeatable. Fred, you must be one classy guy yourself as it takes one to know one.

I hear you Fred, please believe me. I want Barney to succeed. Is a good citizen. I do not quibble with that. I wish for him to be great, as White said he was at Oregon State. Problem is he is facing pitching that is far more elite and stellar than anything he confronted at college level. Do you follow myself?

Jhosk, who do you think he has been facing at Wrigley Field for the last 3 years? He has had an acceptable average all that time UNTIL they started trying to turn him into power hitter. Barney is the stellar and elite defensive man, Castro is the power hitter. We need both!

Uh….it’s just one day off people…. Barney will return and more than likely hit his .250 -to .265, that along with his stellar defense will keep him at 2B for at least this year. Castro HITS, what is this team desperate for? HITTING. regardless of his errors we need all hitters in the line up, all the time. Every player should be subject to occasional days off for various reasons, it was time for Barney to have a day off. I am grateful that Soriano was given a day off and expect Rizzo to get a day off. It’s just a day off, not a dump Barney conspiracy. Part of the reason why I think Castro should bat third or fifth is because he is a good hitter and may drive in the ONE FRIGGN’ RUN needed to win all these close ballgames but Sveum has him INKED in as the two hitter and Soriano INKED in as the clean up hitter…why? THIS is the roster and the time to move some players around as there is NO LEGIT feared CLEAN UP hitter on this team so we might as well take advantage of Castro’s hitting ability to drive in a urn or two every now and then instead of listening to Sveum cry about “another one run loss”. It’s getting old Dale DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.

Im so happy that he gets the day off, he needs a break and especially after that hit! :( I hope he gets some rest and just comes back ready to play! I’m here for you Barney! :D

‘Fred, Castro doesn’t get benched for errors because he is the “Wonder Kid” around which the Cubs are rebuilding. He falls into the “untouchable” category.

Did you even look back to see who taught Castro his position? I bet you can’t even guess. Still I guess Castro’s record for the most errors will stand. Anyone else would have been returned to the minors. Too bad it doesn’t seem like Sveum and the management have any integrety left. I am originally from Chicago and have been a Cubs fan for quite a long time.

Fred, Barney played SS his whole career until Castro got the position. At that point Barney switched to 2nd and has become a GG in no time. Barney is the one who has worked with Castro at SS. Ryne Sandberg taught Barney to play 2nd. When Barney is at 2nd he gives the infield more focus and the pitchers love knowing he is behind them.

Castro’s offense is too valuable to be returned to the minors. We’re not talking about a “Josh Vitters” here. He’s a very good hitting shortstop and his defense is a work in progress but that work can very well be achieved in the majors. Sending him back down is not logical for a team that has very little depth when it comes to major league ready players. Do I love Barney’s defense? Yes. Would I rather have Barney hit like Castro with as many errors? C’mon OF COURSE. This is the fine line we face when realizing the importance of BOTH hitting and defense. Some defense with good hitting is better than ALL defense and NO hitting which is the CURRENT situation with Barney. It’s a shame but he better get his groove back…soon…
One dimensional players have no place on a team. i.e. Soriano with nothing but homeruns (who’s fooled by his “defense”??) does not bring much to the table when it comes to sustaining an offensive inning. He’ll hit his share of home runs now that it is mid May but to expect him to be an all around contributor, let alone get to most balls hit in the outfield is foolish.

Why did we get rid of all our pitchers for unknown pitchets with injuries. Sounds foolish to me.

fred do you even know what you are talking about???

I have said enough and seen enough.

Bye.

Fred – Please do not go away. Your input is both intelligent and pertinent to our blog. Do not let Petrey drive you away. We are all used to his insults and generally ignore them. I am very interested in any further ideas and views you may have about our Cubs. I hope you see this and will stay with us!

It seams to me that some people, and the Cubs management, want Darwin off their TEAM. There are many large pictures on the outside of Wrigley. Funny there isn’t one of Darwin. Is it also a coincidence that he is not on their “core” team but, someone who we don’t know how he will play in the major league is? You help a player to improve your TEAM. You don’t throw talent away just because the other person is a few years younger. TEAM is the critical word here. Perhaps too many forget it is a TEAM effort and not just an individual. Everyone on the TEAM should be treated equally. Perhaps Sveum should take a day and field grounders with Castro.

no one has it out for Barney… the reason he isn’t/shouldn’t be playing is because he can’t hit plain and simple. And to win games you need runs… barney doesn’t produce enough runs…at least as of right now he does not. He could easily go on a hot streak and get back up to his normal range BUT even his normal range is WELL BELOW AVERAGE for a ML 2B. Barney would be a great guy off the bench to give any infielders a day off and if he was cheap enough I would keep him just for that. But he is not an everyday player

Glad you saw my message, Fred. I didn’t know there is no picture of Barney outside Wrigley. I saw one last year. Perhaps Barney won’t be a Cub much longer. They do seem to throw away many talented players and now that they have botched his hitting with poor coaching they may not give him a chance to get his rhythm back but will give away a Gold Glover. And we wonder why the Cubs keep losing? I hope Barney will be a Cub but there are also many who think he is no good on the team. We shall wait and see. What do you think?

I think that if it were me, with the way they are treating the individuals like Barney, I would ask to be traded before my resolve to be a better player and work hard at it, was gone.

WOW…..
I HAVE to Chime IN!!!!

So Dale had a 12 Year MLB Run of .236 AVG .298 OBP .676 OPS
Rob Deer 11 Year MLB Run .220 AVG .324 OBP .766 OPS 1409Ks = TON

ALL U ever hear is Dale and Rob Worked with Darwin??????

AND they changed “EXTENSIVELY” the hitting “APPROACH” of A Darwin Barney 2012 Gold Glove 2B during a FULL WEEK in NOV in AZ and to “SAY HE ABANDONED” what they had worked on????

Well HUH who would have thought HE WILL never turn on the BALL and hit 20 HRs

2012 BATTING LINE: .254 AVG .299 OBP .653 OPS

WOW — WHEN — not if Darwin is gone from the CUBS GOOD for HIM!!!!!

POINT IS: A LOT of Clubs will take a 2012 Batting Line like his with a SOLID Gold Glove on D ESPECIALLY from a 8th Hitter in NL and 9th Hitter in AL!!!

Man — Joey and Mamma Keep On Keeping On!!!!!

granted I see what you are saying but show me the majority of the hitting coaches stats in their careers and its probably going to be about the same way through out. Career player numbers doesn’t produce a better coach. Its more of a DO AS I SAY approach not a SEE WHAT I DO. 11 and 12 years of playing experience in the MLB will teach you a lot of things whether you can put them together or not doesn’t make or break you as a coach. Hell Billy Beane was a bust prospect and now is one of the best GM’s if not THE BEST GM in baseball…..

o and I will not accept a 653 OPS on any good team…. no way… I don’t care if your defense is GG or not I would rather have a league average OPS with Average or below average defense.

Northgate…they MUST have worked with Soriano too!!! HA!

Sorry White Your “Botched His Hitting With Poor COACHING” Was and is SPOT ON and got me Fired up….

So White U too Keep on Keeping ON!!!!

Good Morning All Cub’s Fans, Yes, Northmate, I am keeping on! As you can see there are some who want Barney gone. Petrey’s passion to bench Barney has no limits – in fact he seems to spew over and over and over again why, as he has said, “Barney Sucks”. His words not mine. I on the other hand see a great team player in Barney. Knowing the kind of man he is I can see him having great influence on his teammates to be dedicated, stellar players. Barney is a “class act”.

Mamma and White, I am grateful to be included with you two per Northmate’s supportive comment (THANKS NORTHGATE!!) and it is so satisfying to know that vindication is ours and that HWSRN is STILL to this day so utterly & pathectially ….
a l o n e…..kind of like the ending to the movie “The Mummy” when the vile, foul, BAD, little twerp gets too greedy and is trapped inside the tomb to be consumed alive by a hoard of ravenous scarob beetles….hey, it’s pleasant thoughts like this that help me deal with the little weasel…but I digress. Why the new set of geniuses had to try to change Barney is a mystery. His numbers from last season should have indicated what type of player he is. A great fielder with a decent bat, to make him anything beyond that is playing with fire. These guys need to know of the clay they are molding. Not every middle infielder has the frame and body strength to become a powerful hitter as did Sandberg, the manager who coulda and shoulda been!!
I’m with Northgate, a lot of clubs would be happy with Barney…and leave him alone.
To accept average TO BELOW AVERAGE defense explains why Hendry allowed Soriano on this team. Below average defense should never be “accepted” on winning ball clubs, kind of explains why the Cubs are bad, they accept Soriano and even Castro. Explains why HWSRN is the life form he is. Even his comments are WELL BELOW AVERAGE.

Joey – You are hilarious with your descriptive powers! Well done. My hope at this point is that Barney can get himself back on his game – in spite of being “tweaked” and “messed” with. I know that he has an amazingly strong work ethic and true grit. Go Dar, go Cubs

Thanks White…and I echo your hope regarding one of the better instinctive baseball players on the team…BARNEY!! Who fortunately will not accept below average defense of himself. Unlike the young Castro and the old, over-rated, over-coddled, over-paid, over-in-left-field-somewhere Soriano. NOW HIRING! below average defensive players accepted…please apply within. DUH.

Guess I’m out of the loop. What does HWSRN stand for? For those interested, Felix Pie went yard Wednesday with a man on base to account for only two runs of game in Indianapolis’ 2-0 win. I observe ther is a DeJesus who plays second base for Indy. Wonder if he could be Ivan’s progeny.

Some of the most vile, mean, bitter, vulgar, profane, depressing, lonely, desolate, spiteful, dis-respectful, would-be evil doers/creatures, having not one ounce of civility or respect for others’ opinions and or position in life have been relegated throughout history of never being mentioned by name risking bad things happening and bestowing credibility to it’s existence… hence: He Who Shall Remain Nameless. I am just carrying on the tradition!! :) You’ll have to do the math on your own jhosk and connect HWSRN to, uh, well….HWSRN. It’s just one way of dealing with things that HATE you for expressing an opinion in a civil and respectful way, as you do my friend!
I’ve already sunken too low toward it’s level just writing the above and will now have to rely on some positive feedback from my fellow civil, respectful and witty co-commenters to find my way back to the land of GOOD.

I wonder if HWSRN knows who we are talking about. You think? This may be the longest discussion we have ever had on Carries blog. Joey, your humor delightful. If Barney is gone soon I worry that our dear Isabel won’t get to meet him. Barney loves his Cubs with passion. I am sad that they may ditch him.

Well White, you make my point with your question. You are wise beyond your years and don’t even know it. Who cares IF he knows and WHAT he knows? His insignificance is what is as evident as is his mean spirited comments.

Thanks for the clarity, joey. I get it now, and know exactly to whom you make reference.

Where does this notion of jettisoning Barney come from? I must be missing something. Is there a published report on the subject? Has the front office commented to that effect? The man was given a day off. It was a rational decision made by the manager. Barney may have been pressing. Even if he’s given a second day of rest, it does not mean much. He’ll have the opportunities to return to lineup and produce.

Totally agree jhosk. I too do not see where such dire concern is warranted. He just had a day off, may get more days off…..nothing to worry about yet White!!! Besides, should Barney be moved to another team I believe Isabel goes smoothly into her “I am Baez’s biggest fan” phase???

If you read the Vine Line, it lists their “core team members”, which doesn’t include Barney but includes a ss from the minors. If the new player is the ss, just where do you think they would put Castro since he is on the core list?

It doesn’t sit well with some of us but I can understand the organization omitting Barney from their “core” group as he does lack some offense. However I can also understand them trading a core player like Castro to make room for another core player. Two core players in one position is a good problem to have as that is how good teams fill areas that have no core players such as 3B and #1 pitcher with the Cubs.

Carrie – This has truly been a busy blog – into the 50’s replies. I hope Barney knows that there are many here who support him. If his days as a Cub are over soon we will have had the joy of watching this dedicated player.

I can`t stand the suspense, Mamma. Please identify that second baseman you cite. I`m thinking we baseball junkies will recognize the name. Btw, I did some research today and that second baseman for Indianapolis Indians is named Ivan DeJesus. He must be the son of the man of the identical name who toiled for the Cubs for several years. Was he not a coach with us during the prior regime, and was not his son property of our team for a spell?

Mamma, I surely do recall Tony Womack. I was mistaken about DeJesus Jr. Was with Dodgers organization, not ours. Thanks for that. It`s all coming back to me. I can`t give you an intelligent evaluation of Jr. Did not see him play. Just read about the results of their games with the local affiliate in the newspaper. I have vivid memories of DeJesus Sr. Saw many road games when he and Manny Trillo were the shortstop/ second base combination. In fact, Manny Trillo once bought me a drink at the bar of the Hyatt in Montreal. I was sitting between Manny and Donny Moore, the pitcher with the Cubs at the time. Was 1979. I agreed to move, thereby enabling the teammates to sit together, and Manny Trillo rewarded myself by buying me a drink. You know about how Donny Moore met his ugly demise a few years afterward. Was mighty sad.

I really like it when people come together and share thoughts.
Great blog, stick with it!

They should leave Castro alone and mess only with Soriano. Who cares if they screw him up? It seems that the “little guys” take the heat for poor batting while Soriano skates for his lack of production. BLOOP hits like last night save Soriano’s ba but are hardly what is expected of him.

ya you are right one bloop hit saves his BA… surprised you even looked at his BA…. a stat??? WHAT??? Careful don’t hurt yourself

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