Darwin Barney starts season on disabled list for Cubs

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Darwin Barney, turning a double play in 2012 in this photo, will start the Cubs 2013 season on the DL thanks to a cut on his kneecap. | Sun-Times file

By GORDON WITTENMYER

PITTSBURGH – Cubs second baseman Darwin Barney was placed on the 15-day disabled list before Monday’s opener, retroactive to Sunday, for the deep cut he suffered on his kneecap Saturday in Houston.

The Cubs added infielder Alberto Gonzalez to both the 25-man and 40-man roster. To make room on the 40-man, minor-league pitcher Robert Whitenack was designated for assignment.

Barney, who required five stitches in the knee, is to be re-evaluated next week to better determine a timeline for his return. He would be eligible to return for the home series opener against Texas on April 16.

“We’ll see what they decide,” said Barney who considers himself fortunate compared to how bad the injury could have been – especially after watching Louisville basketball player Kevin Ware’s grotesque compound leg fracture during Sunday’s NCAA tournament game.

“Wow. I was laying in bed feeling bad for myself, and then all of a sudden I felt blessed,” Barney said, “to have a deep laceration like that. Gosh, that poor guy last night. I’ll be back. Unfortunately, he has a lot more rehabbing than I do. It definitely could have been worse.”

Barney was hurt trying to make a sliding catch of a foul popup and hitting the concrete lip at the bottom of the low wall in front of the stands.

The team hasn’t complained to the Astros about the hazard, and Barney hasn’t asked them to.

“Wrigley Field’s lined by bricks,” he said. “So it’d probably be the wrong thing to do morally to complain about a concrete slab on the bottom of their fence. So it’s tough.

“Wrigley Field doesn’t have the edges, so maybe that helps a little bit. I heard [St. Louis Cardinal] Allen Craig did the same thing at Houston to his knee, and I think he chipped something in there as well. So it’s not the first time it’s happened. Hopefully, it’s the last.

“But next time I’ll know to just go over the fence instead of into it.”

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