The disabled list is becoming crowded, and it’s only April 1.
After gashing his knee on Saturday in an exhibition game against the Houston Astros, Darwin Barney was forced to the disabled list today, retroactive to yesterday. He’s got five stitches in the knee, and the Cubs’ docs must not have believed it would heal properly if he kept playing. The earliest Barney can return is April 15, which is one of the few off-days, so he won’t be back until the 16th.
His spot on the 25-man roster is going to be taken by Alberto Gonzalez, the soon-to-be-30-year-old utility infielder. “Journeyman” is the word you’re looking for. The Cubs will need to open up a 40-man roster spot to add Gonzalez, though, and that move has yet to be announced. Having already put Scott Baker and Arodys Vizcaino on the 60-day DL (opening up spots for Brent Lillibridge and Hisanori Takahashi), there may not be an easy maneuver left in the bag.
Here’s something interesting, though: Trey McNutt no longer shows up on the Cubs’ 40-man roster on Cubs.com. No move has been announced, and nothing with McNutt shows up on the transaction wire, so I wonder if he’s in the process of being de-rostered and waived. He’s got serious upside as a reliever, so I’d be shocked if the Cubs risked losing him for nothing (and then did lose him). We’ll see what this is about. Maybe it’s just a mistake on the page. Surely the Cubs wouldn’t give up McNutt just to get a couple weeks of Gonzalez on the bench, right?
UPDATE: Jesse Rogers says it’s going to be Rob Whitenack coming off the 40-man roster to accommodate Gonzalez, which makes a heck of a lot more sense than McNutt. Coming off a long Tommy John recovery, Whitenack had a rough Spring Training and his velocity is way down. He’s not going to get claimed, especially not at this time of year. This doesn’t answer why McNutt isn’t on the official 40-man online, though. A mistake with the names, perhaps?
UPDATE 2: Bruce Miles confirms that Whitenack has been DFA’d to accommodate Gonzalez. I assume he’ll be waived, and I highly doubt he’ll be claimed.
UPDATE 3: As Tobias notes in the comments, McNutt has been returned to the 40-man on Cubs.com, and Whitenack has been removed. I think we can safely assume this was a mere clerical error.