It really hasn’t been a banner month for Chicago Cub second baseman Darwin Barney. Barney continues to struggle at the plate, failing to hit his weight by the end of April and ranking last on the team in a couple offensive categories.
Barney currently ranks last on the Cubs in average with hitters that have had at least 25 at-bats, putting up a measly .122 on the stat sheet. He has also only recorded six hits and has one home run with four RBIs. This kind of struggle is unlike Barney, who has a career average of .243 and an OBP of .292, sinking down to .122/.232 this last month.
Barney’s woes also have been affecting his playing time, being only a bench player used in double-switches as of late. This makes plenty of sense though, with the explosive hitting of Emilio Bonifacio, there hasn’t been space for Barney to shine. Barney has recently taken a backseat to young prospect Mike Olt, who has also struggled in the average department, but has made good effort as of late.
Olt has taken the spot at third base in the last few games, while usual corner man Luis Valbuena has replaced Barney in recent games at second. There might not be room for Barney as the year goes on as well, with the emergence of young prospect Baez who is coming up from AAA, younger prospects could get a turn and leave Barney out in the cold.
There is no question though that Barney is one of the top defensive players the Cubs have, as the Gold Glove winning second baseman has been remarkable in the field the last couple of years. There is the question of whether GM Jed Hoyer decides to use Barney as trade bait for more prospects, a trend the Cubs have had with players the last few seasons.
As these are all possibilities, we will have to keep Barney’s status in check and see if there are more slip-ups in his offense, because if this trend continues, there is a possibility that Barney will be on the market.