CHICAGO – Second baseman Darwin Barney has always wanted to play alongside a former Oregon State teammate while on the Cubs.
Barney finally gets that opportunity after the Cubs claimed outfielder Cole Gillespie off waivers from the Giants. The former teammates played together for two seasons (2005 and 2006) with the Beavers. Barney said he works out with Gillespie during the offseason, living only 20 minutes apart.
"A lot of guys coming out of Oregon State are [fundamentally sound]," Barney said. "We're stuck indoors all winter and we play on the road the first 21 games of the season because of the weather, so that's all we do, work on the little things. He's one of the guys that's good at that."
Manager Dale Svuem said Gillespie, 29, will likely earn most of his playing time when the Cubs face left-handed starters. Gillespie was expected to arrive in Chicago late Saturday night and will be with the team today. Sveum had an opportunity to see Gillespie, a 2006 third-round pick of the Brewers, first hand during big league camp at spring training with Milwaukee.
"A really sound, fundamental baseball guy," Sveum said. "He runs well, plays all the outfield positions, hits the ball out of the ballpark, gives you a solid at-bat every time."
Injury updates: Outfielder David DeJesus will travel to Arizona on Monday to continue working back from a right shoulder sprain.
There still is no timetable for DeJesus' return, but he is expected to go out on a rehab assignment following his stint at the Cubs' facility in Mesa.
"He's not going to have to play in tons of games as long as everything goes good," Sveum said. "The thing you have to be aware of with this sort of injury is the swinging and missing."
Despite right-hander Lance Lynn on the mound for St. Louis, left-handed hitting outfielder Nate Schierholtz was not in the lineup Saturday and likely won't play in Sunday's first-half finale.
Sveum said Schierholtz is "a little banged up" and will have an opportunity to rest for six consecutive days thanks to two days off plus the All-Star break. Sveum classified it as nothing major and explained there were a variety of body parts affected. Schierholtz is another potential trade chip on the Cubs as he is hitting .269 with 11 home runs and 34 RBIs in 77 games, though he has struggled this month batting .138 in eight games.
Quick hits: Julian Green, vice president of communications and community affairs, said on Saturday the Cubs haven't decided on which company will create and build the jumbotron. It is unlikely the Cubs will be able install the jumbotron in time for next season since additional approvals are still needed combined with the restrictive window the team has between the end of the season and Opening Day. ... Scott Baker (Tommy John surgery) will make a rehab start Sunday with Kane County and will be limited to approximately 65 pitches in four innings. Moving forward Baker will be kept on a normal five-day pitching schedule.