CHICAGO -- Darwin Barney already is making a case to supplant the Reds' Brandon Philips as the National League Gold Glove Award winner at second base. In a couple of years, Cubs manager Dale Sveum said he believes the Cubs could mirror Cincinnati in another way: having two Gold Glove Award winners on the right side of the infield.
Phillips and first baseman Joey Votto are the reigning NL Gold Glove Award winners at their respective positions. And while Barney and his 136-game errorless streak could threaten Phillips' hold on the award -- Phillips has won it three of the last four years -- Rizzo, a rookie, has little-to-no chance to do the same to Votto at first base this season.
But Sveum believes Rizzo's day is coming.
"No doubt about it," Sveum said. "Him and Barney work as hard as anybody on their defense. It'll pay off, and then as soon as he gets some time in this league, he should win some Gold Gloves."
Barney and Rizzo hooked up for a big play in Friday's 10th inning when the Cardinals' Matt Carpenter hit a grounder to the right side. Barney ranged to his left, spun and threw too quickly to first from behind the bag. The throw was wide and low to Rizzo's right, but the first baseman snagged it, fell to the ground and tagged the base with his foot. Chicago won, 5-4.
Barney said the play was, "unbelievable," and Sveum said Rizzo has proven to be a two-way player since his June promotion. Sveum said one reason Rizzo is able to impress defensively is because the rookie can slow down the game in key situations.
"He's a no-panic guy at first base. He does a great job," Sveum said. "He means a lot to the whole defense. He's only going to get better at that position.
"It's nice to know that we've got some guys in that infield who are going to be here a while that can catch the ball and swing the bats as well."