Darwin Barney was taking extra batting practice after Saturday’s loss to the Rockies at Wrigley Field with hopes of snapping out of a 3-for-31 skid.
“He has been here on his day off hitting,” Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. “He’s just one of those guys who is a grinder and is going to do everything he can to make himself a better player.”
Barney enters Sunday’s game with a franchise record 110-game errorless streak at second base. His last error came in the eighth inning of a game against the Marlins on April 17. He had been on a tear at the plate, as well. He hit .340 in 14 games from July 29 through August 13.
“Sometimes you want to use a lot of things as excuses for slumps but the bottom line is they happen,” Sveum said. “Also, the last two or three days he’s lined out about four times, too, to the centerfielder and hit the ball hard. You can look at things with slumps and pitch selection and when to be aggressive and when not to be. Sometimes, it’s not just mechanical.”
Sveum believes Barney has the makings of a .300 hitter.
“He knows some of the adjustments he has to make to get some things working on the backside where he can get some length through the strike zone with his bat. His hand-eye coordination, the strength, the hand speed, it should play into a .290 to .310 hitter some day.”