8/11 Sveum sticking with Barney

If you’re one of the fans who has been yelling at Dale Sveum to pinch-hit for Darwin Barney, the Cubs manager has heard you. And he’s not going to do it.

“It’s hard for me to ever [pinch-hit for him] because the guy gives you a battle up there and he’ll put the ball in play in situations,” Sveum said Sunday of the second baseman. “He’s gotten some big hits for us. He’s just a guy who you know is going to battle and [against a pitcher with] velocity, he’ll put it in play and give you a great at-bat.”

Barney entered Sunday’s game against the Cardinals batting .212 overall, but he’s hitting .255 with runners in scoring position with two outs, and .278 in close and late situations. On Saturday, he delivered a game-tying two-run double with two outs in the eighth, and then scored on pinch-hitter Dioner Navarro’s RBI double.

“It’s not like [Barney] is a major power, RBI guy,” Sveum said, “but when you’re in situations, there are certain guys you like up there because they’re better in situations. All you need is for the ball to hit the outfield grass and that’s why you stick with guys like that. You don’t need something huge, just to have the ball hit the outfield grass.”

It’s been a tough year for Barney, who batted .276 in 2011. Sveum worked with Barney in Arizona in the offseason for a few days but admitted on Sunday that the second baseman “didn’t really stick with that too much.”

Now, the Cubs are hoping Barney and others can wrap up the season on a good note.

“You’d like everybody to finish strong for the team’s sake, for their own sake, for their own sanity sometimes going into the winter,” Sveum said. “There’s that saying, it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish, and that’s true in a lot of situations.”

– Carrie Muskat

26 Comments

Someone should tell Dale that Barney is still only hitting .217 with RISP this year compared to .212 in total. I guess that 1 hit every 200 ABs with RISP is totally worth not pinch hitting for.

Right! I can’t believe Sveum gets away with saying things like this….and keeps his job. He is actually stating reasons TO pinch hit for Barney!! (if not share his time with Watkins). We can only hope that along with the upgrade in players there will also be an upgrade in managers. I still like Barney’s defense and style etc but he has clearly played himself on the bench as a role player.

1 in 200 would .005 ave

that’s not how batting average works, michael…

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If the Cubs went on the same winning streak similar to the Dodgers been on in the last 45 games, the Cubs would have 89 wins to finish the season……..

Stick a fork in Barney……..Wilkens & Alcantara will be around nest season……..

Alfonso Soriano got his 2,000 hit yesterday when he hit a HR…….

Alfonso Soriano….Alfonso Soriano….oh, right.

Wilkins is in upper management…. Watkins isa 2b… get it right bro

DS is the least qualified manger to evaluate any talent. There are enough options to replace Barney and keep him on the bench for defensive purposes, but his offense suffers. Of course, there are a list of offensive no-shows and this helps Barney look okay. How good you are is what your batting and fielding averages are. And if you’re not up to par, you grab some bench and try to work your way back in. That’s normal. What isn’t normal is the Cubs front office putting up with a manager who pops off and fails to look at the stat sheet. What fans are seeing all over again is a lot of smoke and mirrors and no substance. But we all love the Cubbies!!

Well said! The only way I cut Sveum some slack is if he is SO smart that he INTENTIONALLY wants to sound incapable by his statements thusly allowing the world to accept your mentioned smoke and mirrors (nice) without question all the while Sveum WANTS to keep his the team’s chance of losing games high so we can get one more good draft pick next year. Whew!
Nah….can’t be. I won’t miss Sveum at all when he is replaced.

And this comment …”.Sveum worked with Barney in Arizona in the offseason for a few days but admitted on Sunday that the second baseman “didn’t really stick with that too much.”” Yet you stay with him despite his NOT listening to coaches and applying what’s being taught????? If you are hitting .350 or 40 hrs you can allow a guy some slack, but a light .210 ?????

Not to mention….WHY did Sveum even “work” with Barney? He should have been content with how Barney produced the previous season (gold glove…duh) and a decent batting average for who is WIDELY known as a light hitting middle infielder. If Sveum expected by working with Barney he could be the next Ryno he was (still is?) delusional. Should have left well enough alone Dale! So, we have Castro, Barney and Rizzo all performing below expectations and all under Sveum and his Brew Crew watch…makes one wonder…..one more year for Dale and then…..???

There’s a stat that gauges how a batter does in close and late situations, and Barney is batting .270 in those situations. That’s why he’s in the lineup. As for why the Cubs worked with him in AZ in the off season, it’s because he batted .254 overall in 2012. He batted .276 in 2011. Note to Sveum critics: The front office backs him 100 percent.

Note to Sveum defenders: We get it, the FO loves their guy. It won’t change free citizens criticizing Sveum for what is perceived as inadequacy as a manager and the goofy stuff coming past his lips. Those stats may back up why Barney should be in CLOSE and LATE situations but certainly his OTHER stats say he should not be in the LINEUP. You make a good point Carrie, backing up us Sveum critics that Barney and the team would be better served if Barney was on the bench then used for LATE SITUATIONS and or CLOSE SITUATIONS. So…did Sveum work with EVERYBODY who had .254 batting averages or less in 2012? And evidently his “work” didn’t pay off, did it? Or as Sveum claims while throwing Barney under the bus HE DIDN’T LISTEN??? If so, then why is Sveum sticking with a player that doesn’t listen to instruction? There is no good out for Sveum, he’s coming across as just another fill-in manager in the wake of the Sandberg mistake. Too bad because Hoystein is doing a very good job other than the manger and coaching picks.

We’ll have to agree to disagree, Joey. You can have the greatest hitting coach/pitching coach in the world, and it means nothing if the player doesn’t apply suggestions/advice/tips. Guys develop habits that are comfortable, and it’s hard for them to change, especially in game situations when facing 98 mph fastballs. My two cents: I like Sveum’s approach, and how he’s handled things (ex., Borbon), and how the front office has helped him (trade Marmol)

Understood Carrie, thank you. Was it Sveum who launched Borbon or the GM? Why did it take so long? Is it typical to wait for a bad player to cross that final line as Borbon did? Poor hitting isn’t enough? Who stuck with Marmol as a closer for too long, the GM? No, the field manager Sveum. Probably cost the team a few wins don’t you think??? Who does not INSIST on a sac bunt from Barney in too many situations? Sveum. I must say I am happy to disagree with you on this issue Carrie as I am far from liking Sveum’s approach, especially of late. See KampOC’s comment below….Sveum stuck with Barney and his comfortable habits despite being instructed to change? Sveum stuck with Soriano and his comfortable habits of widening the strike zone, swinging at pitches in the dirt and swinging for the fences on EVERY SWING during the horrid months of April and May. Sorry but even with this weak roster a better manager than Sveum would have pulled out a few more victories or at least put a better effort into advancing runners into scoring postion CREATING a chance to score a run instead of WAITING AND WAITING AND WAITING for a Soriano homerun or a rare clutch hit from Barney. Not to mention having Watkins rusting on the bench in deference to Barney’s occasional “heroics”. I’m with KamOC….looking forward to a REAL manager when the roster calls for more than a babysitter.

Castro: 489 at bats – 32 RBI
Barney:370 at bats – 35 RBI
Any thoughts?

Sure, they’re not run producers. So let’s never hit Castro in the 3 spot again. (or DeJesus in the 4 spot!!!)

Out of 21 2B men with enough At Bats to qualify, Barney ranks 19 out of 21. Runs scored, Barney ranks 22.
2B men in both leagues with enough At Bats to Qaulify for OBP. Barney ranks DEAD LAST!!!!!!!!!
Any thoughts?
My thought is, Rizzo, Castro and Barney did much better before Rob Deer was hired as assistant hitting coach.

Where do Rizzo and Castro rank for their positions, Jasper? I would appreciate your help with these stats please. Thanks.

Ever think of looking them up yourself?? Didnt I state that Rob Deer was the common denominator on all three?
Do you read or look at stats before posting or just get defensive?

And this idea to keep playing a guy that YOU as the manager publicly state has ignored your coaching is mindblowing. How about accountability?? This isn’t the only area where Dale has failed, by the way. FO is behind him for now because it doesn’t make sense to pay a real manager with this roster. But he won’t be there much longer, one more year at most. He’s terrible at close games, getting clobbered by his own division (3rd worst record v own division in MLB) including the worst team in the division that he simply can’t beat, refuses to ever play small ball, relies on the long ball at all times, and then says stupid stuff like this.

KampOC that was a well thought out, well stated post and I agree 100%.

Thank you! Well said.

Not being defensive Jasper – I really just thought you could help me with their stats. If you choose not to help me maybe someone else can come up with the answer for me.

Carrie, one now has to wonder if what’s good for the goose is good for the gander? Will Sveum impart his pearls of wisdom upon Epstein’s Golden Boy Rizzo now that Rizzo is batting decisively worse (.230’s!!!) than Barney’s .254 average of last year?
Not to mention Rizzo IS AN EXPECTED OFFENSIVE STUD/RUN PRODUCER! If so will Rizzo’s ba plummet to the low 200’s as did Barney’s? The reason you gave for Sveum “working” with Barney was that Barney’s average dipped from .274 to .254 prompting Sveum, to intervene and come to Barney’s rescue for the sake of the team… So….the same for Rizzo? Or is he hands off material because he is one of Hoystein’s guys? What about Dejesus? he is approaching .254 as well? Is .254 the bar set for unacceptable offense? Looks to me as if quite a few players are suffering offensively and the common denominator should be discovered? Sveum? Deer? Does the Deer have any dough? SOYTENLY….two bucks!

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