Could Cubs Darwin Barney Get Pushed Off of Second?

Could Cubs Darwin Barney Get Pushed Off of Second?

Emilio Bonifacio led off the first Cactus League game of the season with a triple, followed by a run scored.

Could this become a regular thing?

Maybe. Apparently teams have been kicking the tires on the Cubs Darwin Barney. Most of us figured it would be a top prospect that would knock Barney off the position, not necessarily another team's cast-off.

Yet, you could see a market for Barney. A contending club with a deep lineup would be able to live with Barney's offense in the 8 or 9 hole. His glove and makeup could be a nice addition to a team breaking camp.

Now no one really knows what the Cubs would actually fetch for Barney. However, it seems he will be just another of the many names that will be watching their cell phones (to see if they have been turned into other assetts) throughout the season.

Even without Bonifacio in the picture, a Mike Olt resurgence could push Luis Valbuena or Donnie Murphy to the other side of the diamond. Not to mention the possibilities of Javy Baez or Arismendy Alcantara being a factor at some point.

Back to Bonifacio, who is a natural second baseman. Although, he may end up serving mainly as a super sub with his ability to play multiple positions, including the outfield. He could give the Cubs an option at leadoff.

According to Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune, Rick Renteria has done some research regarding Bonifacio and Starlin Castro as potential leadoff batters.

Bonifacio has a lifetime .327 on-base percentage in 1,075 plate appearances from the leadoff spot. Castro has a lifetime .345 on-base percentage in 524 plate appearances at the top of the order, which Renteria said was a "decent sample size."

The Cubs skipper did say he expects Barney to be his guy at second, leaving him with a very useful player on his bench. However, if there is one player I think that could get dealt before they Cubs break North, my money is on Barney, rather than the often-rumored Jeff Samardzija.

Renteria compared Bonifacio to Chone Figgins; some high praise, and a guy who also led off with great success.

“I look at Bonnie kind of like a Chone Figgins, where he can go here, there, everywhere,” manager Rick Renteria said. “He can go in different places, so it keeps everybody in the game and allows him the freedom to be in the lineup as often as possible. His flexibility in the National League game is obviously a big plus for us.”

Whatever his role, "Bonnie" (Please don't go Quade on us Rick) will be a nice addition and option for the Cubs.

@TomLoxas

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  • Barney, while a very good leader, is not meant to be a Cub long term. If he hits well in spring training or early part of the season he will be gone by the end of it.

    One thing that people have over looked is that when Barney played for Sandberg he was hitting over .300. It was only the last two years under Sveum that Barney nosedived.

    mmmmmmmmmm... so that really is 3 players who regressed under Sveum's leadership and batting 'guruness.'

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to JeffK:

    Can I use the word "guruness" in the future? I love it! Sveum had a reputation for player development with the young hitters in MILW, but I wonder how much of that was just those individuals' internal drive to get better and how much was him.
    I put as much blame on Dale as anyone, but at the same time I think the best players are always going to be internally motivated. Some guys have the "it" factor, though coaching can certainly help to hone the skills that are there.
    Seems to me that Sveum and Co may have just tried to tinker too much with perceived flaws, rather than work with the players to improve the raw abilities they had. I could be way off though.

  • In reply to JeffK:

    Yep all 3 did, no denying it.

  • Interesting! Yes, Barney and others were so frustrated last year, that it looked as though they just wanted the season to end. I think all will get back to their talent levels. I'd be surprised if much return was offered at this point. Olt is a big question until he proves otherwise, but either way Bonifacio probably is the front runner for first opening. Quade was a good enough guy, just an over his head choice for manager.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Yeah Slug, I just meant the nickname stuff.

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