Darwin Barney Gold Glove Madness and Other Bullets

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Darwin Barney Gold Glove Madness and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

darwin barney gold gloveSo, I didn’t do so well in the first DraftStreet contest yesterday. The Tampa Bay/Boston rainout cost me Evan Longoria, Anthony Rizzo laid an egg, and so did Adam Jones. Starlin Castro and Andrew McCutchen had nice days for me, but that was about it. The winner, twildman6 with 84.5 points bested me by more than 50 points. Oof. The rest of the top ten were jakoch1, RonSantosLegs, kygavin, mrqball, cublove9, gaglam1, TDcool, ChiHoffman, and Fin With DeJesus. Even the next 15 people won $10, and I hope it was fun even for those of you who didn’t win. There are more of these to come this season, so stay tuned.

  • Darwin Barney received his Gold Glove yesterday, shortly before he headed out on a rehab stint at Iowa that will see him back with the Cubs early next week. Dale Sveum made Barney’s teammates watch him get the award, and congratulate him afterward. In honor of his award, the Cubs are giving out replica Gold Glove awards to the first 10,000 folks at the game today:

  • It’s actually a pretty sturdy, spot-on replica (though I’m not sure that the Rawlings Gold Glove is co-sponsored by D’Agostino’s Pizza, but, hey, I’ve never won one). While the Cubs honor Barney with a replica trophy for the fans, I honor him by recalling Brandon Phillips’ disappointment at losing the Gold Glove to Barney:

barney phillips gold glove

  • There isn’t too much to add about Kyuji Fujikawa’s ugly outing yesterday, trying to close out the win for the Cubs. He couldn’t locate his fastball, and he couldn’t then play his splitter off of the fastball. The fastball also didn’t have much life or movement. Yeah, it was just bad all around. He looked uncomfortable on the mound, and I wonder if he’s struggling to adjust to the cold. In a cold, ugly-weather appearance against the Brewers earlier in the week, I noticed halfway through his stint that he’d completely given up on throwing anything but his fastball. To me, it seemed clearly weather-related. Yesterday’s didn’t seem like it was weather-related, but with the previous outing in the back of my head, I now wonder. Then again, Fujikawa got blasted in Atlanta last week, and there were no weather issues there. It’s still early, I suppose, but his grip on the closer’s job is less than firm.
  • Carlos Villanueva, who didn’t get the “W” because of the blown save (Fujikawa got the “W” – anyone want to keep defending W/L as a useful, meaningful stat?), had this to say about his start, per Cubs.com: “As you can tell, the radar gun doesn’t light up when I’m out there. Having a game plan and not really executing, I’ll have those days, I know. But days like today, when I can go in and out, up, down and mix it up, you have guys on the other team saying, ‘We should’ve killed that guy, we should’ve scored a million runs today.’ But the end result isn’t the way they want, it makes me feel a lot more better.” If Villanueva can keep being the kind of guy who frustrates the hell out of opponents, that’d be just fine.
  • By the way: make sure Dioner Navarro gets some love for yesterday’s win. Coming off the bench and hitting a homer off of Sergio Romo ain’t easy, and Navarro’s run counted just as much as the one Starlin Castro drove in.
  • If you were wondering when and where second base prospect Ronald Torreyes would finally debut, it was yesterday and AA Tennessee. He needed a little extra time to get ready for the season after arriving late to Spring Training, and now the 20-year-old is the man at second base in Tennessee. Given his ridiculous ability to hit and his very young age, he remains a prospect to watch. He’ll never be a big, powerful guy, but the big leagues are definitely a possibility in his future, even as a starter.

Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.