Renteria not unhappy with Barney despite .201 average
With infielder-outfielder Emilio Bonifacio on the disabled list since June 13, the Cubs have turned once again to Darwin Barney at second base.
Barney, who won the Gold Glove two years ago, has played more in June than he did in either April or May. In the field, he brings the same quality defense and leadership on the infield.
But it's been a rough go at the plate for the 28-year-old Barney the last couple of years. He went 0-for-3 in the first game of Saturday's day-night doubleheader, and his batting line dropped to .201/.247/.289. But he had a batting average of .143 in April.
"We've talked about it since the spring," said manager Rick Renteria. "We know he's a former Gold Glover. We know that he carries himself defensively on the field very well. We've actually been pretty happy with the way he's been putting together his at-bats. He's having really good at-bats against both righties and lefties, and that's good because he's a pro.
"He didn't come into the season this year going out and playing every single day at second base. We've had conversations and he's dealt with it quite well. He continues to prepare himself daily to be ready to play the game. I think he's contributed in many ways."
Rookie pitcher Dallas Beeler earned praise for his performance in Game 1 of Saturday's doubleheader. He worked 6 innings and gave up 4 hits and only an unearned run.
Most impressive was that the 25-year-old Beeler did not look like a rookie on the mound. He had good poise and did not try to overthrow the ball, which might have adversely affected his sinker.
"He was exactly what I thought he was going to be," said catcher John Baker. "He did a great job not giving into the pressure of the situation of pitching at Wrigley Field for his first major-league appearance, and that's a tough thing to do.
"I told him before the game to think about this like he was going into Pearl, Mississippi, and pitching a Double-A game. ... Some guys get 'third-deck shock,' where all of a sudden they forget who they are. I really wanted him to make sure that he remembered who he was and that he threw the game he wanted to throw. So I talked to him pretty extensively yesterday and today."
Although it's only one start, Baker said Beeler provided reminders of one really good pitcher.
"He's very reminiscent to me of Roy Halladay, same kind of approach to pitching," Baker said. "He's trying to throw strikes down in the strike zone, and nothing's straight. When nothing's straight and you throw the ball well, you're going to get groundballs."