Cubs second baseman Darwin Barney is putting together a nice little season.
Barney hit his career-best fourth home run Sunday to give the Cubs a 3-0 lead in a game they eventually won 3-1 over the Arizona Diamondbacks.
“It’s not my approach, but you’ve got to make adjustments at this level,” Barney said. “Two strikes, I’m looking to hit something the other way with a man on second, and luckily, I ran into something.”
Barney put on extra weight this off-season after losing 20 pounds last year and tailing off in the second half.
On defense, he continues to shine. He extended his errorless streak to 75 games and 606 innings at second base. His last error at the position came April 17.
“A lot of his hits have been big this year, whether they kept the line moving at just the right time or popping a home run,” manager Dale Sveum said.
“Yesterday, he put us up by a couple instead of 1 with his double down the left-field line. He’s done a great job. We know what he’s done defensively. There’s nobody been better at second base than he has.”
Long road back:
Third baseman Ian Stewart rejoined the Cubs at Wrigley Field. He had his left arm in a sling after undergoing surgery on his wrist last Tuesday in Cleveland.
Stewart will go back to Cleveland in two weeks to have the wrappings removed and the wrist re-evaluated. Neither he nor the Cubs know whether he will play again this year.
He admitted the wrist had been bothering him for “two or three years” and that the surgery provided some peace of mind. Doctors removed part of a bone that had been causing an impingement. Stewart also had the area cleaned out.
“I feel pretty good,” he said. “They went in there and did everything they said they were going to do. I just pray that they got it all and I can kind of move on and in a few weeks start rehabbing and get that whole process started up.
“It was wearing on me mentally, just the fact it was hurting and nothing could ever be found through all the MRIs and stuff I was doing. It was hard to comprehend for me. I knew I felt the pain there, but nothing was ever coming up.”
Kerry Wood visits:
Former pitcher Kerry Wood, who retired two months ago, was a pregame visitor to the clubhouse. Wood joked he was sure he made the right decision.
“Absolutely,” he said. “I tried to play catch today, so I know I made the right decision.”
Wood added that he is busy spending time with his family and doing work for his charity foundation. He figures to be around the ballpark more later in the season.
“You’ll probably see more of me as the season starts to wind down, probably around August, start to be around more home games and help out, just be around the guys,” he said.
“We’ll talk more about what we’re going to do next year and stuff this off-season. I’m sure I’ll be at spring training and do all that stuff. I’ll be around in some capacity.”
Wood has made his home in Chicago, and he hopes to remain with the organization long term. A coaching career does not seem to be in the immediate offing.
“I don’t know,” he said. “It’s too early to think about that. My kids are too young to think about that at this point, to think about coaching.
“These guys spend so much more time here than the players do. It would be counterproductive to what I was wanting to do. I’d like to be here as much as I can without getting in the way.”Copyright © 2014 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.