Originally written March 04, 2014 on Sports Mockery:
Chicago Cubs News - Starlin Castro has a minor hamstring injury that could work out in the Chicago Cubs favor. Manager Rick Renteria will be shuffling his middle infield to not only fill spots but to increase some player’s value. This 7-10 day  injury could play big in the future of the Cubs organization. Filling In For Castro Darwin Barney, who last played shortstop in July 2012, will be getting some extra work there while Castro is out. The time at the position will give Barney, a former Gold Glove winner at second base, an opportunity to show his versatility. While he is a sure-handed infielder, Barney is only a .246 hitter in his career and hit a meager .208 last year. His decreasing numbers at the plate mean the Cubs are looking for him to help out in other ways. Barney had this to say to Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune, “Shortstop is my natural position.I feel very comfortable over there. The past three years at second base I’ve still taken balls at short almost every day as part of my workout to stretch my arm out. So I don’t look at it as a transition. I look at it as moving over to short for whenever I have to. Who knows what’s going on or what’s going to happen? Your guess is as good as mine.” Barney’s last two sentences may prove to be very cryptic late in the season. Barney comes off as being a team player at first but ends his quote with what seems to be some uncertainty about his future. What About Second Base? Let’s make this clear, Darwin Barney will be at second base on Opening Day for the Cubs. With that said, one guy that is popping into everyone’s mind is the power hitting Javier Baez. He is listed as a shortstop but his poor fielding makes people believe he should make a move to second base. Jesse Rogers of ESPN recently asked Baez what positions he was comfortable playing other than shortstop. Baez had this to say, “I would say second base. You don’t have to move as much as you do at shortstop. It’s pretty much the same except for that. I think I can do it.” A move from short to second can be a seamless transition for a player who is accustomed to seeing more action. As Baez said, he doesn’t have to move as much to make the plays so he will feel more comfortable there with the time he gets. Crowded Infield The Chicago Cubs currently have half of the infield set with Starlin Castro signed through 2020 and first baseman Anthony Rizzo through 2021. As of now we can say that the organization is looking to these guys for the future. They also have the former Golden Spikes Award winner, Kris Bryant, and former top 25 prospect, Mike Olt, competing to be the third baseman of the future. Barney and Baez’s Future Darwin Barney is a sure-handed infielder but as the days goes on it seems less likely that he is part of the Cubs long term plan as anything more than a utility infielder. He will be starting the season as the organizations second baseman but it looks like they are looking to show his versatility for future suitors. Playoff contenders will be looking to sure up their middle and they could use a guy like Barney. With a slick-hitting prospect like Baez looking to move up to the big club late in the season, he will need a position to play. It wouldn’t be crazy to think that the Cubs could move Barney to make room for Baez at second. ————— Sources: Chicago Tribune; ESPN; Spotrac; Author informationMarc-Louis PaprzycaFeatured Columnist at Sports MockeryChicago made. Chicago Sports fan. One of the few people who received the opportunity to play 8 years of high school football. Although, 4 of them were on the NCAA D3 level. Contact info@sportsmockery.comTwitterFacebookGoogle+LinkedInThe post The Long-Term Effect of Starlin Castro’s Injury on Barney and Baez appeared first on Sports Mockery.

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