Results tagged ‘ Darwin Barney ’

12/2 Extra bases

* The Cubs are expected to tender contracts to all of their arbitration eligible players before Monday’s 10:59 p.m. CT deadline. Players not tendered before that deadline will become free agents. The Cubs have nine players who are arbitration eligible, including infielders Darwin Barney, Luis Valbuena and Donnie Murphy; outfielder Nate Schierholtz; and pitchers Pedro Strop, Travis Wood, Daniel Bard, James Russell and Jeff Samardzija.

The main reason teams might non-tender a player is because he is arbitration eligible and due for a raise higher than the team is willing to pay.

This is the third year Schierholtz is arbitration eligible, the second year for Samardzija, Russell, Valbuena, and Murphy, and the first year for Bard, Barney, Strop and Wood. According to salaries projected by MLBTradeRumors.com, if the Cubs tender contracts to all nine players, they’ll be adding $21.5 million to the payroll. The Cubs have committed $49 million to six players for 2014 and will be paying $14 million to the Yankees to cover the last year of Alfonso Soriano’s contract.

*The Cubs have reportedly re-signed outfielder Darnell McDonald to a Minor League deal. He has a career .285/.353/.453 slash line against left-handed pitchers (12-for-28 this season with Cubs). McDonald played in 25 games with the Cubs this season, and was outrighted to the Minor Leagues on Oct. 8. He became a free agent Oct. 15.

* According to FOX Sports and MLB Network’s Ken Rosenthal, the Blue Jays have reached an agreement with catcher Dioner Navarro on a two-year, $8 million deal. Navarro, 29, batted .300 in 89 games last season with the Cubs, hitting a career-high 13 home runs, including three in one game, and driving in 34. Navarro was paid $1.75 million last year. The Cubs have signed George Kottaras to be their backup catcher in 2014.

* Steve Wilson, who was the Pacific Rim and Mexico scouting coordinator for the Cubs, has joined the Yankees as the Pacific Rim scouting coordinator/international crosschecker. Wilson pitched for the Cubs from 1989-91.

– Carrie Muskat

11/26 Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to all. It’s a time to give thanks, and take stock. It’s also a time for many to eat.

Cubs second baseman Darwin Barney’s favorite dish? His mother’s homemade stuffing. He wasn’t sure what the secret ingredient was but said she doesn’t use a stuffing mix and breaks the bread apart by hand.

“My mom makes it from scratch and it’s the only thing I look forward to about Thanksgiving,” Barney said. “They usually give me the easy job of corn or cranberry sauce.”

Barney also clarified that his mother’s stuffing isn’t the only good thing about the holiday. The second baseman, who lives in Beaverton, Ore., in the offseason, also enjoys getting together with family at this time of year. He does love the food.

“Her stuffing is my favorite thing about Thanksgiving,” he said.

Cubs TV analyst Jim Deshaies said they celebrate with a very traditional Thanksgiving dinner.

“I’m a big fan of turnips while the rest of the clan leans more toward the squash,” he said. “My wife is convinced that there is nothing better than squash and cranberries mixed together. Gravy is my favorite food group, so anything slathered in gravy gets the job done for me.”

Safe travels to all.

– Carrie Muskat

11/8 Happy B-day, Darwin Barney

Katie_Pledge_5_years_old

It’s Darwin Barney’s 28th birthday. Hope he has a happy day. Here he helps Katie Gallo with the pledge of allegiance before a Cubs’ Spring Training game.

10/30 Barney’s numbers

A note to folks upset that Darwin Barney did not repeat as the National League Gold Glove winner: His numbers from last year and this year were rather different. And Barney would be the first to tell you he needs to do better. Brandon Phillips started 151 games at second; Barney 139. The Padres’ Jedd Gyorko posted a .851 zone rating to lead all NL second basemen, Phillips was second at .833 and Barney was seventh at .799. Barney did lead all NL second basemen in fielding percentage at .993. Phillips was first in total assists (428).

Here’s a comparison between Barney’s 2012 stats (when he won a Gold Glove) and this season:

2012
Number of balls fielded: 517
Total putouts: 311
Assists: 418
Errors: 2
Double plays: 86
UZR: 15.0
WAR: 2.3

2013
Number of balls fielded: 425
Total putouts: 236
Assists: 363
Errors: 4
Double plays: 69
UZR: 12.5
WAR: 0.4

Note on UZR Rating: A plus 15 is Gold Glove caliber; a plus 10 is great; a plus five is above average.

Note on WAR: Wins Above Replacement is an attempt to summarize a player’s total contribution to the team in one stat. According to Fangraphs, it looks at a player and asks, if this guy was injured, and he had to be replaced with a Minor Leaguer or someone from the bench, how much value would the team be losing? An MVP gets a six-plus WAR; a solid starter 2-3 WAR. A scrub, 0-1. I understand WAR includes offensive stats, but Barney’s drop off is rather dramatic.

– Carrie Muskat

10/29 Gold Glove results

There was no repeat for the Cubs’ Darwin Barney. Reds’ second baseman Brandon Phillips reclaimed the Rawlings Gold Glove award in the National League, which Barney won in 2012. Winners of the top defensive award were announced Tuesday.

Barney, 27, and Phillips were finalists for the NL second base honors along with the Dodgers’ Mark Ellis. Barney led the NL in fielding percentage this season, but was seventh in zone rating, which is determined by how many plays a fielder makes and how many were hit into his zone. Phillips, who won the award in 2008, ’10 and ’11, was second in zone rating at .833 behind the Padres’ Jedd Gyorko (.851).

This year, managers and coaches who received the Gold Glove ballots also had an additional packet of statistics as Rawlings collaborated with the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) to formally incorporate sabermetrics as a component of the award.

Arizona’s Paul Goldschmidt won the NL Gold Glove at first base over the Cubs’ Anthony Rizzo, who was a finalist for the first time in his career. The Dodgers’ Adrian Gonzalez, who was vying for his third Gold Glove, and first since 2009, also was a finalist. Rizzo, 24, and Goldschmidt were tied for second in the NL in fielding percentage behind the Rockies’ Todd Helton, and the Cubs’ first baseman led the NL in zone rating (.902).

– Carrie Muskat

10/28 Extra bases

* Darwin Barney and Anthony Rizzo will find out whether they have won Gold Gloves on Tuesday. ESPN2 will unveil the winners on a special “Baseball Tonight” show, starting at 7 p.m. CT. Both of the Cubs infielders are finalists for the top defensive award. Barney is vying for his second, and competing against the Reds’ Brandon Phillips and the Dodgers’ Mark Ellis.

* Tickets are still available for the 2014 Cubs Convention, to be held Jan. 17-19 at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers. Go to Cubs.com for more information.

* Rizzo will host his second “Walk Off for Cancer” on Dec. 15 at Pine Trails Park in Parkland, Fla. Rizzo will celebrate five years of being cancer free. Registration is limited to 1,000 people, and costs $30 per person. Last year’s inaugural event raised more than $100,000. For more information, go to http://www.Rizzo44.com.

* Cubs Minor League hitting coordinator Anthony Iapoce will hold a baseball clinic for boys and girls ages 9-13 on Dec. 14 from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. ET, at Queens College, New York. Kids will get two hours of hitting, plus lessons on fielding, throwing and base running. For more information, contact iapocebaseball@gmail.com.

10/25 Barney, Rizzo Gold Glove finalists

Cubs second baseman Darwin Barney and first baseman Anthony Rizzo are finalists for the Rawlings Gold Glove award, announced Friday. Barney, who ousted Brandon Phillips last year to win his first Gold Glove, is one of three National League finalists along with the Reds’ second baseman and the Dodgers’ Mark Ellis. Barney led the NL in fielding percentage. Phillips won the award in 2008, ’10 and ’11. At first base, the Dodgers’ Adrian Gonzalez is vying for his third Gold Glove and first since 2009 (he also won in ’08). The other finalist is the Diamondbacks’ Paul Goldschimidt.

Winners will be announced on Tuesday at 6 p.m. during a one-hour ESPN2 “Baseball Tonight” show.

9/24 Cubs lineup

Chris Rusin makes his final start of the season on Tuesday as the Cubs play host to the playoff-bound Pirates at Wrigley Field. Logan Watkins will start at second in place of Darwin Barney.

Rusin and All-Star Travis Wood (2.98 ERA) both have ERAs under 3.52. The Cubs look to have two left-handers make at least 10 starts and each turn in an ERA of 3.80 or less in the same year for the first time in 46 years when Rich Nye (3.20 ERA, 30 starts) and Ken Holtzman (2.53 ERA, 12 starts) did so.

Here’s the lineup:

Castro SS
Lake LF
Rizzo 1B
Navarro C
Schierholtz RF
Murphy 3B
Bogusevic CF
Watkins 2B
Rusin P

9/19 Barney: “It’s hard to blame anybody”

The Cubs lost 101 games in Dale Sveum’s first season as manager, and entered Thursday’s game with 89 losses and 10 games to play. The front office has said it will not evaluate Sveum on the basis of wins and losses. But an evaluation is underway.

“In a season like this, it’s hard to blame anybody,” Darwin Barney said. “We’re all accountable for our own actions and our play on the field. … It is a business and any time a team has this kind of a sesaon, there’s obviously going to be evaluations,” he said. “That’s not to say [Sveum] did a bad job or any of us think he did a bad job — I stand behind Dale. It’s just an evaluation and we’ll see how it goes.”

Theo Epstein will meet with Sveum and the coaching staff on Sept. 30 in Chicago after the regular season ends.

“I think a lot of us stand behind Dale and think he’s the right fit for this team,” Barney said. “That’s obviously not our call. Everybody’s being evaluated now, it’s top to bottom. It’s how can we make this better and turn this around.”

– Carrie Muskat

9/16 Gold Glove nuggets

Gold Glove ballots will be distributed this week. Here’s a look at recent or season-long defensive accomplishments by qualifying Cubs defenders:

* Welington Castillo leads all Major League catchers with a 2.5 defensive WAR (2.5) this season.

* Anthony Rizzo leads all ML first basemen in defensive WAR (0.6) and leads all National League first basemen with an .900 ultimate zone rating. Rizzo ranks second in the league with a .996 fielding percentage this season.

* Darwin Barney leads all National League second basemen in defensive WAR (1.4), and has made only four errors this season, by far the fewest by any everyday second baseman. Barney’s .993 fielding percentage is far and away the best in the National League. He began this season with a 71-game errorless streak and takes an active 41-game errorless streak into tonight’s game.

* Starlin Castro has made four errors in his last 72 games starting June 26. He has an .882 ultimate zone rating during that span, second-best among NL shortstops, and a .988 fielding percentage, also second-best among league shortstops in that span.

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