PITTSBURGH -- Darwin Barney showed up at PNC Park sporting stitches on his left knee, courtesy of crashing into a concrete slab in Saturday's exhibition finale at Houston.
Barney went on the 15-day disabled list with a laceration, but he was looking at the bright side, especially after watching Louisville basketball player Kevin Ware suffer a gruesome-looking broken leg Sunday night in the NCAA Tournament.
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"I watched that game last night and wow," Barney said. "I was lying in bed and feeling bad for myself, and all of a sudden, I felt blessed to just have a deep laceration like that. Gosh, that poor guy last night. I'll be back. Unfortunately, he has a lot more rehab than I do, but it definitely could have been worse."
Neither Barney nor the Cubs are sure how long he'll be out. They'll re-evaluate him in a week. It's possible he'll need more than the 15 days on the DL. Barney did maintain a sense of humor when asked if the Cubs would complain about the exposed concrete.
"Wrigley Field's lined by bricks," he said. "So it would be kind of the wrong thing to do morally to complain about a concrete slab on the bottom of their fence."
With Darwin Barney out, the Cubs selected the contract of infielder Alberto Gonzalez, who went to spring training as a nonroster player.
To make room on the 40-man roster, the Cubs designated pitcher Rob Whitenack for assignment. Whitenack is a minor-leaguer who came back last year from Tommy John surgery.
Anthony Rizzo's first-inning homer came on the first pitch he saw and traveled 438 feet to center field. He did not have a home run in the Cactus League.
"To be honest, it was nice to get the win," Rizzo said. "I don't remember the pitch or where I hit it. I kind of blacked out there for a second. It was nice to get the win and get on a good note and keep it going and build momentum."
Cubs batters struck out 15 times against Pirates pitching. Catcher Welington Castillo had 2 doubles for the Cubs, who outhit the Pirates 6-3.