MESA, ARIZONA – Chicago Cubs second baseman Darwin Barney had his best season in Major League Baseball last season despite the long-suffering struggles endured by his team. In 2012, Barney had a career high 7 Home Runs, and 44 RBI’s. Chicago Cubs fans have high expectations of their team, and the players who wear the Cubs uniform, and Barney is looking forward to delivering in 2013. The Cubs starting second baseman was available for a brief interview after the Cubs final spring training game at HoHoKam Stadium recently.
How has spring training been for you this year?
Darwin Barney: It’s been alright. Being an extra long spring training because of the classic (World Baseball Classic) I think it was beneficial to our club with all the new personnel we brought in this year. It gave us extra time to play together, and get to know each other. It can only work out for the best.
What have you personally been working on?
Darwin Barney: I’ve just been tinkering with things here, and there, and my approach.
Tinkering, with what kind of stuff?
Darwin Barney: Just what pitches you’re looking for in certain kinds of counts, and stuff like that. What kind of load your going to use. I think I found something in the last few days, that I can go into the season with.
How is your infield partnership with Starlin Castro?
Darwin Barney: It’s been good. I think he came here this year with a goal, and that goal was to be substantially better defensively, and I think he’s so far shown that he’s doing that. He’s taken a lot of pride in his work, and his work ethic, and the ground balls he’s taken. Our routine has been getting better, and better together.
Where are you most comfortable batting in the lineup?
Darwin Barney: It doesn’t matter to me. As long as I’m in there I’m happy to be in there, and fortunate to be on this team. For me it’s not about where I’m hitting but it’s about just being productive where I’m at.
What kind of personal goals are you hoping to reach this season?
Darwin Barney: I try to stay away from the personal goals. Obviously I want to raise my on base percentage (OBP), and I think that’s something that’s easily attainable. Whatever I can do to help this team reach our goals is what I’m going for so that’s kind of my goal.
How are the additions the Cubs have made in the offseason going to help the team in 2013?
Darwin Barney: Yea I think we’ve put a lot of depth in our pitching staff. I think we have a lot of strike throwers, and we have guys that have been around the block that have kind of had success at this level. That’s very important for a team that’s young, upcoming, and trying to grow to have guys on the mound that have been there, and done that, and can throw strikes.
Are you looking forward to the new interleague schedule this season?
Darwin Barney: Not really, It’s not anything different. I think it’s going to be a little bit of a change playing an interleague game at different times of the year but for the most part it’s going to be the same. We’re still playing the one division on the other side so it’s fair for everybody that way.
What are your thoughts on not playing the Houston Astros as much this season?
Darwin Barney: It’s good for them to move into that division (American League West). I think it can be good for them, and their organization. It’s a strong division so it kind of evens the playing field for everybody, and it can only be good for baseball.
Do you have a message for all the Chicago Cubs fans out there?
Darwin Barney: We’re hoping to come out and start off strong. That’s our goal to come out, and show that we can be in contention when the time comes. Obviously we’re going to take it one game at a time and go from there.
Thank You very much Darwin good luck this year.
Darwin Barney: Thank You.
Notes: Darwin Barney injured his left knee on March 30, 2013 in the Chicago Cubs final spring training game. Barney was placed on the 15-day disabled list to start the 2013 MLB season, and is due back sometime next week.