The Los Angeles Dodgers big move prior to the non-waiver trade deadline came in the form of acquiring infielder Darwin Barney from the Chicago Cubs.
Barney won a Gold Glove at second base in 2012, but had fallen out of favor with the Cubs this season and was designated for assignment before being shipped west. Barney joined an organization that’s littered with middle infield depth, which made his status a bit uncertain.
With Hanley Ramirez being placed on the 15-day disabled list, Barney was promoted from Triple-A but manager Don Mattingly said he is unlikely to unseat Miguel Rojas at shortstop, according to Joe Morgan of MLB.com:
I’m not sure we’re as comfortable with Darwin at this point as we are with Miggy,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. “I haven’t seen [Barney] play short, and Miggy’s pretty dang good. Darwin’s probably a little bit different offensive player. He’s been more established in the big leagues and things like that.”
However, that doesn’t completely rule out Barney as an option to play short as Mattingly has sensed it’s where he’s comfortable:
I will try to move him around a little bit,” Mattingly said. “Just talking with him, he’s not as comfortable at third as he is at short and second, so primarily [we’ll play him there]. We don’t really have that need with Justin [Turner] and [Juan Uribe], so third base is not really a major concern. It’ll be more short and second with him.”
Although Rojas is filling the void at shortstop with Ramirez on the DL, he too is capable of playing multiple infield positions and is hopeful to also contribute offensively:
It’s been huge for me to make that adjustment against a real pitcher instead of making adjustments in the cage or [batting practice],” said Rojas, who notched his first career three-hit game on Sunday. “You want to do something. You want to produce. You don’t want to be just the defensive guy. You want to add something on offense, too, to help the team win.”
Monday was the 19th game Rojas has started and fifth consecutive. Thus far, the infielder has played 19 games at shortstop, seven at third base and two at second. Rojas is hitting .214 this season and is 5-for-18 since taking over for Ramirez.
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