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Should the Chicago Cubs play Darwin Barney everyday?

I’ve been an advocate for Darwin Barney from day one. Even with all that the Chicago Cubs have done with the roster, I felt he needed a chance to rebound, just as Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo have. But the platoon system has found Barney on the outside looking in.

Emilio Bonifacio and Luis Valbuena have the ability to play multiple positions. This has left Barney, as well as Mike Olt needing at-bats. Olt started to see more playing time and has shown his power capability at the plate. Barney isn’t going to wow with power. Even his superb defense is expected now. So without consistent at-bats it’s going to be hard for him to stand out. But I think he needs that chance.

In his last four games, Barney is hitting .375 (6/16)  with one home run and 3 runs batted in. It’s not spectacular, but it shows he’s trending in the right direction. At this point I think it’s clear the Cubs are working towards the future. barney was pretty much cast out by some fans as Javier Baez made a strong statement in the spring. That statement isn’t quite as loud now as Baez has struggled. Barney is young enough to be considered a “core” piece.

His defense will always speak volumes and be the first thing noted, and with the current struggles on defense that should be appreciated. Barney struggled last year, same as Castro and Rizzo. Barney isn’t getting the chances for the wrong reasons. Bonifacio should see his starts in the outfield. And this thought that Baez will be taking his spot soon should be put away for now.

Play Darwin. He’s a Gold Glove winner, had a great rookie season, and in 2012 when his sophomore numbers dropped, his WAR (Wins above replacement) was 4.7. Last year, in my opinion, was an anomaly, not the norm. At this point, the Cubs have nothing to lose by running Barney out there and seeing what he produces. He’s not playing on a regular basis this year, and this start is worse as a team than any other year he’s been a Cub. That’s strictly coincidence, but let him play.

Should Darwin Barney get the chance to be the everyday second baseman?

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Tags: Chicago Cubs Darwin Barney

  • Craig

    Barney is on a downward spiral and it won’t get better. I question his mentality when he struggles and prospect names come up. Should you expect a .300 hitter? No. But some offense to stick in the big leagues is needed and he has not provided this for multiple seasons now. Everyone points to his glove. Is he a good defender? Yes. But shouldn’t you be a good defender to begin with if your in the big leagues? Yes. Anyone who is in the big leagues can field or your not in the big leagues. Look at the fielding percentages of the second baseman in the big leagues. What’s the difference? A few plays separates a gold glove winner from the rest of the 14 second basemen in the league. Point here is, don’t keep him because he can defend. You can find someone in A ball who can defend as well as Barney. The need offense. He is not providing it. Any other team designates him for those embarrassing offsense numbers. I don’t know what the Cubs are thinking. Again it better not be for the glove because there are many options that can hit well better than Barney.

  • Nick

    I don’t agree with that because it’s impossible to say someone is on a “downward spiral” with inconsistent playing time. Which returns to my main point. Play him everyday. See if he can’t put up consistent numbers. If he can’t, I’ll be the first to admit it’s time to part ways. He’s more than a few plays better than most at 2B. Only Phillips would be as close. Run Barney out there for a few months. Again, what is there to lose? You can’t keep running out patchwork lineups with these results. Barney isn’t near to blame. Off of your logic Schierholtz would be DFA’d. That’s not how it works though. His woes are similar to Castro. Two seasons of decline. Their rookie seasons? Similar. Castro a bit higher on the average. But about the same. And in case you hadn’t noticed, this team needs any defense it can find. It’s not for his glove, it’s front office confusion, and a manager finding his footing in his first year. If platoons like Renteria is running out worked, more teams would be doing it. Play Barney. Play Olt for that matter. See if they’re worth keeping around. If not, you go from there.

    • Craig

      Castro is younger and has more upside. Barney has been an everyday player. He had is shot and couldn’t hit. This is his first year platooning. I don’t know why he was brought back to be honest. Take a look at fielding percentages last year. Barney led with .993 followed by Gyorko, Walker, Ellis, Phillips and each had .992, .989, .989, .987 respectively. That is a few plays difference here. Find the worse percentage among 2nd basemen last year which I’m sure is still respctable play and I bet he’s hitting way better than Barney.

      I agree with several points though. Front office and renteria have their woes. And I never said Barney was the only problem. The article is about him and that’s who I’m emphasizing. The cost of running him out there is losing offense. Last I checked the team with the most runs wins and if he’s not contributing to that he should not play. And that goes for everyone.

  • Craig

    You have to get rid of Barney. He is not good. The Cubs have a knack for playing garbage players. Look at Jackson. Signing him to $54 million was very smart right? How has that turned out. Why give him that when he was coming off the seasons he was. Should have paid Samardzija with that. Or what about Shawn Camp? Yes the same one that LED the league in appearances several years ago. What happened to him? Has played more in the minors since the Cubs and era is through the roof. But the Cubs loved his 86 mph fireball fastball. All every other hitter does to that is say thank you very much. He’s an example of someone who shouldn’t have been here. Other teams know this. And I love the “but Theo and co. will change it all, look what they did with Boston in 2004″. The red Sox had something called talent. Ortiz, Ramirez, Pedro, varitek, etc. The Cubs are very very very far away from that. The front office is a joke, and several not all but several team members are a joke as well and will not be playing any where else other than the Cubs.