The Cubs didn't eke out a victory on Tuesday night (or afternoon, for that matter) against the Reds, but Darwin Barney still made some news with his glove and with his manhood:
#Cubs Barney taking paternity leave to be with wife for birth of 3rd child. Family is in Chicago
— Carrie Muskat (@CarrieMuskat) July 9, 2014
Congratulations to Darwin and his family! Of course, this means that the Cubs are going to be an infielder short. Who's coming up to take his place for those three days he's out to tend to the new addition to the Barney clan?
Looking at the Cubs' 40-man roster, there are two very obvious choices to fill in the infield void; Arismendy Alcantara and Logan Watkins. Alcantara would be the sexier call-up as he's one of the top prospects in all of baseball and he can play either in the infield or the outfield (he's been standing in center field a lot lately and holding his own) which would lend flexibility to the Cubs' offensive and defensive options. However, if the Cubs elect not to start his MLB service clock (even for three days!), then Watkins is the fallback, and Watkins is no slouch either.
The other option would be to bring up a reliever since the Cubs won't have any breaks between now and the All-Star Break. They will have played 11 straight games without a day off by Sunday, and the bullpen would be taxed since we can't reasonably expect all of the starters to always eat six or seven innings. Depending on the need, they could bring Zac Rosscup back up (he's currently in Iowa after being DL'd and is pitching well over the past couple weeks) for those three days.
The last option is to simply ride it out and I don't think that's viable at all. The Cubs are already short on the bench while carrying 13 pitchers (14 if you count Tsuyoshi Wada's doubleheader-exempt start), and Barney's absence means there would only be three guys on the bench with one of them being the backup catcher, and neither would be an infielder given that both Mike Olt and Luis Valbuena would have to play third and second, respectively. So someone has to come up.
If they want to see some flash, the Cubs will bring up Alcantara. However, this is probably a good time to give Mike Olt an extended look anyway, and if they want a guy to just rot on the bench during that time, might as well be Watkins (sorry, Logan).
Let's see what happens!
Oh darn, I should have waited. It's Alcantara. You read all this for nothing.
Yay! A cookie! RT @MDGonzales: Arismendy Alcantara will take Barney's spot for two days.
— Behind The Ivy (@Behind_The_Ivy) July 9, 2014
Celebrate anyway. And #VoteRizzo.