{}
CLOSE

Now Commenting On:

Barney hits batting cages on his down time

Barney hits batting cages on his down time

|
Barney hits batting cages on his down time
CHICAGO -- Darwin Barney was in the video room watching some clips of his swings after Saturday's game when Cubs hitting coach James Rowson walked in.

"[Rowson] said, 'I figured I'd put my tennis shoes on, and figured you'd want to go hit,'" Barney said Sunday, relaying the story.

So they did, heading to the cage as crews were busy clearing debris from that day's game and the sprinklers were going on the field. Barney also stopped by Wrigley Field on Thursday's off-day to get some extra swings in.

"He's not feeling very good at the plate," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said Sunday of the second baseman, who was batting .258 overall and .205 this month. "He was here on his day off hitting -- I saw him here. He's one of those guys who is a grinder and is doing everything he can to make himself a better player."

Barney has been making contact but is not making excuses.

"You want to use a lot of things as excuses for slumps but the bottom line is they happen and the last two or three days, he's lined out about four times to the center fielder and hit the ball hard," Sveum said. "You can look too far into some things and get a little confused about slumps and pitch selection and when to be aggressive and when not to be, too. Sometimes it's not just mechanical."

Barney has noticed some bad trends.

"I didn't get [to the big leagues] by pulling the ball," Barney said. "I didn't get here having my contact point out front. I got here by letting the ball get deep and stuff like that. We're working at getting better at being me and getting back to that and getting back to that approach."

The ironman second baseman, who was expected to get a day off at some point during the Cubs' current 20-game stretch, does have the potential to be a .300 hitter, Sveum said. He hit .276 last year.

"I think he can be, and I think he knows some of the adjustments he has to make to get some things working on the back side so it's not such a dead back side to where he can get some length through the strike zone with his bat," Sveum said. "The hand-eye coordination, the strength, the hand speed, it all should play into a .290, .310 hitter someday."

OK, so what was Barney doing in the cage on his day off?

"I had nothing else to do," Barney said Sunday. "It was about 3 in the afternoon, and I was like, 'I can sit here all day or I can get something done.' I decided to go over there and work a little bit in the cage. That's why we're here. You don't get too many opportunities and before you know it, it'll be over. I thought, why not go get something done?"

{}
{}
Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español