Results tagged ‘ Darwin Barney ’
Steve Clevenger will be sidelined at least six weeks because of a left oblique strain suffered on a swing Saturday. Clevenger, who missed time last year because of a strained right oblique, was placed on the 60-day DL to make room on the 40-man roster for Kameron Loe, whom the Cubs claimed off waivers from the Mariners. Loe will not be at Wrigley Sunday. The Cubs are waiting for Darwin Barney’s return from the DL, expected Tuesday. Clevenger was 1-for-8 in eight games with the Cubs.
“We lose a lot by losing him,” Dale Sveum said of Clevenger.
Loe, 31, appeared in four games with the Mariners and gave up eight runs over 6 2/3 innings. The right-hander has pitched for the Rangers and Brewers.
– Carrie Muskat
* Scott Feldman, bothered by tightness in his back, will take advantage of Monday’s off day and be skipped one turn in the Cubs rotation. Feldman was originally scheduled to start Wednesday against his former team, the Rangers, in the second game of an Interleague series, but now will not start until Saturday when the Cubs are playing the Brewers at Miller Park. The Cubs’ rotation against the Rangers now will be Travis Wood, Carlos Villanueva and Jeff Samardzija.
* Second baseman Darwin Barney flew to Des Moines on Saturday to begin a Minor League rehab assignment. Barney, out since March 30 with a left knee laceration, was expected to play Saturday, Sunday and Monday for the Triple-A Iowa team, and rejoin the Cubs on Tuesday. Barney was injured sliding into the right field wall at Minute Maid Park on March 30.
* Third baseman Ian Stewart was headed to Iowa on Saturday and will begin a rehab assignment on Sunday. He did not play in any Cactus League games because of a strained left quad, injured in the first intrasquad game Feb. 21.
* Scott Baker, still rehabbing from Tommy John surgery, which he had one year ago, was in Chicago to be re-examined by team orthopedic specialist Dr. Stephen Gryzlo. Baker has been training at the Cubs’ facility in Mesa, Ariz. There’s no timetable for his return.
* Steve Clevenger could start at third base Sunday in the Cubs’ series finale against the Giants. Clevenger made his first start on Friday, and cleanly handled the balls hit to him. He made the Cubs’ Opening Day roster last year as a backup catcher.
“I’ll put Clevenger at third again [Sunday] and see what happens,” manager Dale Sveum said. “He can swing the bat. He gives you that left-handed bat that changes the way a pitcher pitches and gets pitch count up.”
Clevenger was a middle infielder before he was converted to catcher in the Cubs’ Minor League system.
* Giants manager Bruce Bochy presented Nate Schierholtz with his 2012 World Series ring while San Francisco was taking batting practice on Saturday. Schierholtz came up in the Giants organization, winning a ring in 2010. He was with the Giants until July 31 when he was dealt to the Phillies for Hunter Pence.
* Congrats to Garrett Camp, 5 1/2 year old son of Cubs pitcher Shawn Camp, who scored three goals for his soccer team on Friday in a 4-3 win. Garrett now has seven goals for the season.
– Carrie Muskat
Starlin Castro has the physical tools to be a star shortstop. Now, the Cubs are trying to develop the mental skills. On Friday, Castro and second baseman Darwin Barney did some early work with Cubs infield coach David Bell. The two middle infielders have yet to play in a regular season game because Barney is on the disabled list with a left knee laceration, but he’s expected back Tuesday. Castro made his third error on Thursday in nine games, which led to a Giants’ run. The Cubs now lead the Major Leagues with 10 errors.
“These errors aren’t because of physical ability,” Dale Sveum said of all the miscues, not just Castro’s. “It’s awareness and understanding the situation and who’s running. I think we’ve made half our errors on pure non-awareness of how much time we had to make a play or a throw.”
Physically, Castro has the talent. How do you improve the mental part of the game?
“That’s the million dollar question about slowing the game down,” Sveum said. “When we say ‘slow the game down,’ it doesn’t mean make the ball go slower or the pitch go slower. It’s how can you in your mind — before a ball is hit to you, before you step in the batter’s box — how you can go over the situations in your head before the ball is hit to you?
“Those are the things, whether you’re base running or hitting or fielding or pitching, how do you slow the game down in your mind and go over all the scenarios that can happen in your area,” Sveum said.
– Carrie Muskat
Darwin Barney will finally get to hold the Gold Glove trophy.
The Cubs second baseman, who won the award for his stellar play last season, was presented the trophy prior to Friday’s game against the Giants.
“It’ll be good to actually see it,” Barney said. “It’s exciting to get it and start the campaign for a new one.”
Does he have a spot at home for the trophy?
“I kind of plan on holding it for a couple days,” he said, smiling. “My wife will have to move to the couch for a couple days.”
He’s kidding, Lindsay.
“Last year is over and done with,” Barney said. “You can reflect on that when the time comes. Right now, my focus now is getting my mind and everything ready for Tuesday or Monday, whichever day I play.”
Barney begins a Minor League rehab assignment on Saturday with Triple-A Iowa, and if all goes well, he will rejoin the Cubs on Tuesday. He’s on the disabled list with a left knee laceration suffered March 30 when he slid into the right field wall at Minute Maid Park. He got the stitches removed on Friday.
“I feel like I’m ready now,” Barney said. “I felt like I was ready a few days ago. It’s just a matter of getting that first slide out of the way. I’ve kept my arm in shape. I’ve seen pitches. It wasn’t an injury that I couldn’t go and do things. I could still be active. I feel I’ll be ready for when I come back.”
Couldn’t he pick someplace warmer to rehab?
“They left it up to me, and [Class A] Daytona was thunderstorms all weekend,” Barney said. “[Double-A] Tennessee is probably the best weather. I decided on Iowa. It’s going to be cold here, so might as well get some at-bats with your hands frozen so you’re ready when you come back.”
– Carrie Muskat
* Cubs manager Dale Sveum has figured out a way to deal with the cold weather at Wrigley Field. He wears a battery-operated heated vest. It’s getting lots of use lately.
“You do have to manage according to the weather and you know that with these kind of games, wind blowing in and all that, they’ll be low scoring, and you have to manufacture runs somehow and do things that way because your fly balls won’t be home runs,” Sveum said Thursday.
Wednesday’s game against the Brewers was postponed because of rain and cold temperatures, and snow was in the forecast for Friday’s game against the Giants. Thursday’s high was forecast for the 40s at Wrigley Field. Can the Cubs use the weather to their advantage?
“No,” Anthony Rizzo said. “There’s no advantage in this weather for either team. You’ve got to try to get ahead early and hope the other team shuts it down. The other night, we could’ve easily shut it down with the wind and the wind chill. It was a big win the other night.”
Sveum did have an additional heater installed in the Cubs dugout to make it more tolerable.
“You just try to stay warm and then go hit,” Rizzo said. “You let your adrenaline take over.”
* Second baseman Darwin Barney will get the stitches out of his left knee on Friday, and begin a rehab assignment on Saturday with Triple-A Iowa. Barney suffered a knee laceration on March 30 in the last exhibition game when he slid into the right field wall at Minute Maid Park in Houston. Barney has been able to take batting practice and grounders. The Iowa Cubs play their first home game Friday against Albuquerque, and Barney was expected to play Saturday through Monday, and rejoin the Cubs on Tuesday.
* Police are investigating who dropped off a goat head at Wrigley Field on Wednesday. The package was addressed to Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts, but intercepted before he got it.
“It’s just obviously an unfortunate fan doing something pretty stupid,” Sveum said.
Said Anthony Rizzo: “That’s probably just an upset fan or a fan of another team. My opinion is it’s just dumb, but it is what it is. It’s kind of funny.”
A curse was supposedly placed on the Cubs in 1945 when the team would not allow Billy Sianis to bring his goat to a game at Wrigley Field. The Cubs have not won a National League pennant or gotten to the World Series since.
– Carrie Muskat
* Theo Epstein fully supported Dale Sveum’s decision to change closers and switch to Kyuji Fujikawa in place of Carlos Marmol.
“I think he made the right call,” Epstein said. “Marmol bounced back last year to have a really solid second half. Of course, he should’ve started this year as our closer. You don’t lose your job after two bad outings at the end of Spring Training. To do that would be counter to everything we believe in. He pitched really poorly three times to start the year,” Epstein said. “It was important for the team to make a change. We need to believe we can win these close games late. For Marmol, last year, he went back after struggling, fixed himself and came back and contributed. We need to be open to that possibility again.”
Sveum said they want Marmol to work on his pitch selection, and not get “fastball happy.”
* Darwin Barney has been cleared to do all baseball activities, but won’t get the stitches removed from his left knee until later this week. Barney, on the disabled list with a knee laceration suffered March 30 in the last exhibition game, was able to participate in all drills in batting practice. If all goes well, Barney will begin a rehab assignment this weekend at one of the Minor League teams, and then could be activated April 16.
* Matt Garza, who threw 35 pitches in his second bullpen on Sunday in Atlanta, will throw a couple more bullpen sessions and then was expected to begin a Minor League rehab assignment. Garza has been sidelined since Feb. 17 with a strained left lat. He’s hoping to return in May.
* Last season, Cubs fans had to deal with a 101-loss season. Most understood the growing pains of the team’s rebuilding process. Does Sveum expect fans to be patient this year?
“You can only have so much patience,” Sveum said. “Obviously, they were great to us in hard times last year and understanding the process in the organization. There’s only so much you can take, especially when you have some of the best fans in the country and passionate. It’s not just Chicago — we have a following throughout the whole country. The patience has to give way sometimes — that’s just the nature of the beast.”
There’s no truth to the rumor that Epstein’s hair turned gray since he took over as Cubs president of baseball operations.
“Ten years in Boston will do that to you,” Epstein said of the flecks of gray. “Lots of blown saves. I remember my first road trip with the Red Sox, we opened on the road in ’03, we blew a save Opening Day, blew another one in Toronto, blew another one in Baltimore. They might have sprouted back then. It’s not a new development.”
– Carrie Muskat
* Ian Stewart, on the disabled list with a strained left quad, was the designated hitter in a game at the Cubs’ extended Spring Training in Mesa, Ariz., on Saturday, and could be a few weeks away from rejoining the team. Stewart, injured Feb. 21 during an intrasquad game, was able to run at 80-90 percent on Friday, and is making progress. He has yet to play in the field in a game. Cubs manager Dale Sveum said if all goes well, Stewart could be ready in two to three weeks.
* Second baseman Darwin Barney, on the disabled list with a left knee laceration, was able to take batting practice on Saturday. He had five stitches in his knee because of the cut, and was expected to get the stitches out this week.
* Matt Garza, on the disabled list with a strained left lat, was to throw his second bullpen session on Sunday. Garza threw 25 pitches on Thursday in Arizona, and has had no problems since the workout. He’s expected to return in May.
– Carrie Muskat
* The Cubs headed into Thursday’s game 0-for-13 with runners in scoring position.
“We haven’t had real bad at-bats, but we obviously haven’t had the results,” Dale Sveum said. “Your approach is to get elevation with men in scoring position, whether it’s third or whatever, you get something in the air and don’t ground out to the corners. Pitchers are always trying to get you to ground out to the corners. You want to get the ball up, out over the plate.”
* After Thursday, the Cubs begin a stretch of 19 consecutive games against teams that finished above .500 last season.
“We don’t look at it as tough, but a way to show what we’ve got from the beginning,” Chicago pitcher Carlos Villanueva said. “I think it’s better we face those teams and we face good competition early on to test ourselves and see how well we are this year.
“It’s such a long season and we’re not going to think about winning one series or two series — we have to focus on winning ballgames one at a time,” he said. “It’s so cliche, it’s so boring, but it is how it is. For us to be playing tough teams now, the Braves, the Giants, the Brewers, the Reds, it’s good. We get a chance to show what we’ve got early on.”
* Scott Feldman will make his Cubs debut Friday night when the team opens a three-game series against the Braves.
“I’m kind of anxious,” Feldman said Thursday. “Sitting here, watching these games, I want to get that first one under my belt and get off to a good start.”
It’s not only a new team for Feldman, but he’s going to be pitching in ballparks and cities he’s never been in. Atlanta is on that list. The good news is that Feldman has seen the Cubs play some good defense in the first two games.
“You can get some momentum on your side with a good play,” he said. “We had it happen a couple times on Opening Day. Guys back there are pretty solid on ‘D’ so hopefully they’ll keep it going.”
* As far as Sveum is concerned, he’d like to keep the designated hitter in the American League. This year, adding the DH to the National League will likely be discussed as teams play Interleague games every day of the season.
“I enjoy the National League game, and I enjoy managing the National League game,” said Sveum, sticking to tradition.
The Cubs will need a DH May 27-28 against the White Sox, June 4-5 versus the Angels, June 28-29 when they face the Mariners, and July 2-4 versus the Athletics. They have some candidates, including switch-hitter Dioner Navarro, Steve Clevenger and Alfonso Soriano.
Some have said American League teams are at a disadvantage in National League parks because their pitchers haven’t batted as much.
“I think it works both ways,” Sveum said. “We go to an American League park and have to use a DH but we didn’t build our team with a DH. They pay people a lot of money to DH. That’s part of their game. We’re fortunate because our pitchers can swing the bat pretty good and that’s an advantage to us.”
* Matt Garza will join the Cubs Friday in Atlanta and was to begin throwing off the mound. Second baseman Darwin Barney, rehabbing from a laceration in his left knee, is able to swing in the batting cage, but still needs to keep his leg extended.
– Carrie Muskat
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
Cubs second baseman Darwin Barney was expected to miss Monday’s season opener because of a deep cut on his left knee suffered in the last exhibition game. Barney was injured when he crashed into a fence at Minute Maid Park along the right field line in the third inning on Saturday. He needed five stitches on his knee.
“That’s a bummer,” Jeff Samardzija said Sunday about losing Barney for the season opener. “Darwin’s my boy back there. Him and [shortstop Starlin Castro] up the middle, you really develop a relationship with those guys. They’re the guys you can talk to and shoot stuff off of during the game. It’s nothing we’re not used to. We can adjust to things for sure.”
Brent Lillibridge will start at second base Monday. A official announcement on whether Barney will be placed on the DL will be made Monday after the medical staff has a chance to re-evaluate him. Infielder Alberto Gonzalez did make the trip to Pittsburgh in case Barney is sidelined.
“It’s a tough break for Barney but I’ll do my job and fill in until he’s healthy and get off to a good start,” Lillibridge said Sunday.
The Cubs have had their share of injuries this spring. Pitchers Matt Garza (strained lat) and Scott Baker (strained right elbow) will open the season on the disabled list along with third baseman Ian Stewart (left quad). The Cubs already have placed pitcher Arodys Vizcaino (right elbow) on the 60-day DL.
– Carrie Muskat