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Cubs claim Gillespie off waivers from Giants

Cubs claim Gillespie off waivers from Giants

CHICAGO -- Cubs second baseman Darwin Barney gave the thumbs up to the team's newest addition, outfielder Cole Gillespie, who was claimed off waivers from the Giants on Saturday.

Barney and Gillespie were teammates at Oregon State, and helped lead the Beavers to the 2006 National Championship.

"It's usually not my job to play front office, but I think it's a good pickup for us," Barney said. "He was all-state shortstop kind of guy, good athlete, and a right-handed bat that we need right now. He can play all positions real well. I'm excited to finally play with a teammate who I played with in the past. He's a good teammate guy."

Gillespie, 29, spent most of the last three seasons in Triple-A in the Diamondbacks and Giants organizations. A right-handed hitter, he signed a Minor League contract with the Giants last offseason and batted .277 with 11 doubles, two triples, nine home runs and 31 RBIs in 74 games with Triple-A Fresno this year. He was called up to the big league team July 5, went hitless in nine big league at-bats and was designated for assignment on July 9.

Gillespie was in the Brewers' big league camp when Cubs manager Dale Sveum was on the coaching staff.

"He's a really sound, fundamental baseball guy," Sveum said. "He runs well, plays all the outfield positions. He can hit the ball out of the ballpark, gives you a good at-bat. He's a real professional player."

So, did Barney give a good scouting report?

"I've seen him enough," Sveum said. "I've probably seen him more than he has. He gave me the thumbs up, though."

The Cubs have been carrying an extra reliever because of the lack of outfielders available. Ryan Sweeney (fractured rib), David DeJesus (sprained shoulder) and Minor League prospect Brett Jackson (calf) all are sidelined with injuries. Gillespie was expected to join the Cubs in time for Sunday's night game against the Cardinals. A corresponding roster move would be made at that time.

"He obviously hasn't had a whole lot of reps in the big leagues," Sveum said of Gillespie. "He's just a baseball player. He can steal a base, he's going to catch the ball. He's just a good baseball player."

Barney works out with Gillespie in the offseason -- they live about 20 minutes from each other -- and said solid fundamentals are emphasized at Oregon State.

"We're stuck indoors all winter and we play on the road the first 21 games because of the weather," Barney said. "That's all we do is work on the little things, and [Gillespie] is good at that."

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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