Chicago Cubs second baseman Darwin Barney may need to go on the disabled list after suffering a cut on his left knee that required five stitches.
Barney banged his knee Saturday afternoon after running into the wall that runs along the right field line at Minute Maid Park. The cut is deep enough that it could affect his play, which would force the Cubs to place him on the 15-day disabled list to start the 2013 Major League Baseball season. With that being said, there will be no official decision until Monday morning.
“That’s a bummer,” Cubs ace Jeff Samardzija told Cubs.com. “Darwin’s my boy back there. Him and [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.”
This is obviously a huge blow for Chicago if their Gold Glove Award winner will not be able to suit up for the first two weeks of the season. The 27-year-old brings what he can to the plate, but his defensive skills at second base are borderline irreplaceable.
If Barney is placed on the disabled list, expect traveler Brent Lillibridge to take his place in the lineup. Lillibridge has posted a .213 batting average in 338 career games with five different teams. His defensive skill set at second base does not match up to Barney, but he should be able to handle his own.
“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, according to Cubs.com.
Barney batted .239 with two home runs, 11 RBI and four doubles in 71 at-bats this spring.