suntimes
CRACKLING 
Weather Updates

Cubs regulars can expect time off — except Darwin Barney

DarwBarney cracks his two-run homer against Cardinals Friday. | John Gress~Getty Images

Darwin Barney cracks his two-run homer against the Cardinals on Friday. | John Gress~Getty Images

storyidforme: 37341105
tmspicid: 13668591
fileheaderid: 6295003

Updated: October 23, 2012 6:12AM



With playoff berths still to be decided, Cubs manager Dale Sveum is committed to keeping his regulars in the lineup against the St. Louis Cardinals this weekend.

But that will change next week when the Cubs begin their last road trip of the season to Colorado and Arizona before a final three games at home against the Houston Astros.

‘‘No doubt about it,’’ Sveum said. ‘‘We’ll start giving other guys playing time and evaluate a little against Colorado. We’ll see where Arizona is [in the National League wild-card picture], but we’ll change it up a little.’’

The one Cub likely to play the rest of the games is second baseman

Darwin Barney , who is within five of tying the all-time season record for errorless games at the position. Placido Polanco set the record at 141 in 2007 with the Detroit Tigers.

‘‘I don’t think Barney will be going anywhere in the lineup,’’ Sveum said before Barney enhanced his stature with a game-tying two-run homer in the ninth inning Friday. ‘‘With the day off Monday, I think he’ll be fresh. He’s battle-tested.’’

Barney went 2-for-5 and has hit in 15 of his last 16 games.

‘‘Obviously, you’d want his OBS to be .700 [Barney is at .690], but that defense is saving runs every single day,’’ Sveum said. ‘‘What he’s been doing lately [at the plate] is fine.’’

Bullpen mainstays

Relievers Shawn Camp and James Russell continue as Sveum’s workhorses. He went to them again Friday, though he has said he would try to avoid using them when the Cubs are trailing.

Camp made his career-high 76th appearance Friday, working a perfect ninth. Russell made his 72nd appearance, working the eighth and giving up a run and two hits.

Baker still in hospital

Cincinnati Reds manager and former Cubs skipper Dusty Baker remained hospitalized Friday in Chicago because doctors were concerned about him traveling. Baker was admitted before Wednesday’s game when he didn’t feel well. He is being monitored for an irregular heartbeat.

Rami ties Ronnie

Former Cubs third baseman Aramis Ramirez was the longest-tenured at his position since the late Ron Santo . On Thursday, Ramirez, now with the Milwaukee Brewers, became linked to Santo again when he hit his 337th homer. That tied him with Santo for sixth place on the all-time list at that position.

‘‘He was a great guy, always in the clubhouse, trying to give me advice and make me a better player,” Ramirez told reporters.

Sori still soaring

Alfonso Soriano doubled home Barney in the third inning Friday for his 104th RBI of the season, tying the career-best mark he set in 2005 with the Texas Rangers.



© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit www.suntimesreprints.com. To order a reprint of this article, click here.