CHICAGO -- Darwin Barney's personal Opening Day came a little later than that of his teammates, but he was nonetheless excited.
The second baseman was activated from the disabled list before the Cubs' series opener against the visiting Rangers on Tuesday, after spending three games with Triple-A Iowa over the weekend. He was placed on the DL on April 1 with a left knee laceration suffered in the Cubs' final exhibition game this spring.
Barney went 0-for-4 in Chicago's 4-2 loss to Texas, and he had a potential game-tying hit taken away by Craig Gentry's diving catch for the final out of the game.
"I'm excited. I've been itching to get back out there," Barney said before the game. "It's kind of nice -- Opening Day you have all these jitters, but I don't have them right now because I've been around and I've been out there during the games and I just played [Monday]. So hopefully I can take that calmness into the games."
Barney said he stole a base, got a chance to slide and scored from first base on a double with Iowa. Everything checked out OK.
Barney hit 5-for-10 with one double and four runs in his rehab stint. He appeared in 156 games last year, batting .254 with seven homers, 44 RBIs and 73 runs scored. But the Cubs put a premium on his defense (he won a National League Gold Glove Award last season, his first full year in the Majors) and leadership from second base.
Chicago's second basemen have hit .194/.268/.306 in 12 games this year, and have combined for a .984 fielding percentage with one error.
"We're a team, so I don't think me coming back is going to make that big of a difference," Barney said. "It would be wrong for me to say that. But I'm excited to come out and contribute, help out as much as I can and hopefully things will go better."