Cubs’ Barney out for opening day

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HOUSTON — You could have written a worse ending for the Cubs’ spring training, but not one that was uglier than Saturday, especially not from Darwin Barney’s perspective.

While the Cubs were in the process of losing to a team of Astros’ prospects 6-3, Barney overran a foul pop and wound up banging into the boundary wall beyond first base. He suffered a deep cut in his left knee, which required five stitches, and could be headed for the disabled list.

Manager Dale Sveum said Barney is definitely out for Monday’s season opener, with Brent Lillibridge likely replacing him as the starting second baseman. If team doctors don’t think the cut can heal while Barney plays, he’ll go on the DL.

“You can’t believe something like that would happen,” Barney said. “That’s the game. You have to go after popups.”

Barney said he banged his knee off a concrete slab at the base of the low, green wall. He said he was told that other players have been injured on similar plays. The Cubs could complain to Major League Baseball about the conditions but that won’t get Barney back for the start of the year.

Barney’s situation would seem to increase the chances that president/baseball ops Theo Epstein makes a waiver claim or minor trade to add infield depth. A backup third baseman would allow Sveum to move Luis Valbuena to second while Barney is out.

By Phil Rogers, Tribune reporter

Copyright © 2013 Chicago Tribune Company, LLC

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