PHOENIX -- Since April 17, Cubs second baseman Darwin Barney has faced nearly 300 chances to make an error. But each and every time a ball has come his way, the 26-year-old's defense has been spotless.
Entering Friday night's series opener with the D-backs, Barney was riding a 56-game errorless streak, spanning 462 1/3 innings.
"He's done an unbelievable job at second base," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. "He's got good range, especially to his left. He's doing a great job. He's been far and above anything that I saw from the other side of the fence."
The last Cubs middle infielder to put together a streak longer than Barney's was Mike Fontenot, who had a 90-game errorless run from May 7, 2008-June 30, 2009.
"When you get to 50 games, that's pretty impressive, it doesn't happen too often with middle infielders," Sveum said. "When you're playing second base and you have to turn double plays, take relay throws and all that stuff, that's where some of the errors come in."
In addition to Barney's defensive prowess, Sveum believes the infielder is just a few mechanical tweaks away from being as successful at the plate. In 238 at-bats this season, Barney is batting .265 with 15 doubles and 22 RBIs.
"In the past, he's tried to jam the ball into right field," Sveum said. "But he's starting to come around and know he can drive the ball and do more things with the bat than hit singles to the right side."