Cubs notebook: Reliever Tony Barnette activated from injured list; tempers flare in Mets’ clubhouse

The move marked the end of a long wait for Barnette, who has been sidelined by shoulder inflammation.

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Cole Hamels hits an RBI single in the second.

Cole Hamels #35 of the Chicago Cubs hits a RBI single in the second inning against the New York Mets at Wrigley Field on June 23, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois.

Quinn Harris/Getty Images

Right-hander Tony Barnette provided a simple answer when he was asked about his expected role with the Cubs.

‘‘I’ll be pitching,’’ Barnette deadpanned.

Fair enough.

The Cubs’ bullpen can use all the help it can get these days, regardless of Barnette’s specific fit in the group.

The Cubs activated Barnette from the 60-day injured list Sunday and optioned right-hander Rowan Wick to Class AAA Iowa. The move marked the end of a long wait for Barnette, who signed a one-year deal with a team option for 2020 during the offseason but has been sidelined by shoulder inflammation.

Barnette, 35, went 2-0 with a 2.39 ERA in 22 appearances with the Rangers in 2018. He walked five and struck out 26 in 26„ innings. In 125 career games, he has a 3.50 ERA.

‘‘It’s not like he can’t get out a lefty, but he’s been really good against right-handers,’’ manager Joe Maddon said. ‘‘He’s a strike-thrower. He attacks the zone. He’s kind of a fearless guy.’’

Barnette said it was an easy decision to sign with the Cubs.

‘‘Look at the guys in this room, the guys that have been here and the guys that are here now,’’ he said. ‘‘For someone to offer you that chance to be a part of this group, a World Series champion-caliber team, it’s exciting to be a part of it.’’

The opportunity to pitch at Wrigley Field stood out, too.

‘‘It’s a great stadium, a great fan atmosphere,’’ Barnette said. ‘‘It’s the best in baseball, from what I’ve seen.’’

Scouting report

Barnette was bullpen mates with recently signed closer Craig Kimbrel for the last week at Iowa.

Any insights?

‘‘He throws hard,’’ a smiling Barnette said.

Kimbrel got the day off Sunday and is expected to get another one off Monday after pitching in back-to-back games Friday and Saturday. He will make at least one more appearance at Iowa before the Cubs determine whether to bring him up.

‘‘Tuesday is the next one,’’ Maddon said. ‘‘And then [we will] talk afterwards.’’

Wow moment

Left-hander Cole Hamels helped his own cause in the Cubs’ 5-3 victory against the Mets with an RBI single in the second.

He entered the game with an .077 batting average before promptly knocking a 98 mph fastball to right field against reigning National League Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom.

‘‘It’s more shocking than anything,’’ Hamels said. ‘‘You’re just trying to put it in play.’’

Tempers flare

As the Cubs enjoyed their comeback victory, the visitors’ locker room reportedly simmered with drama.

Mets manager Mickey Callaway unleashed a string of expletives at Newsday reporter Tim Healey and asked the team’s media-relations staff to remove him from the clubhouse, Yahoo Sports reported.

Mets left-hander Jason Vargas then threatened to knock out Healey and had to be restrained by teammates as he charged toward him, according to the Yahoo report.

The tension reportedly started after Healey said, ‘‘See you tomorrow, Mickey,’’ as Callaway walked past. The Mets have been on edge for much of the season, with Callaway rumored to be on the hot seat.

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