Darwin Barney barely made the 25-man roster in 2016, and was expected to be sent to the minors once Devon Travis returned from offseason surgery. In a twist of fate, Ryan Goins -- who was ahead of Barney on the depth chart -- struggled immensely to begin the campaign. That opened the door for Barney to fill a regular role for a short period before the All-Star break. The utility man saw time at second, third, short (reaching 20 games at all three positions) and even in the outfield. Prior to the Midsummer Classic, the 28-year-old slashed .296/.345/.392, well above his career marks across the board. Barney's second-half production (.215/.279/.333) fell way short of his first-half success, but his overall campaign increased his standing with the team heading into 2017. Although his numbers won't blow anyone away, Barney's versatility at least lends itself reasonably well to volume.
Barney went 1-for-3 with two RBI and a run in Wednesday's 3-0 victory against Boston. Barney's second-inning effort -- he hit a two-run single before coming around to score -- accounted for all of the game's offense. Wednesday's performance doubled the third baseman's RBI total (four) on the season, and raised his average to .389 through nine games. Barney's hit safely in five of his six starts this season and managed five base knocks over his last 12 at-bats. If the 31-year-old can keep it rolling, he may solidify himself as the top replacement option for Josh Donaldson, who will be nursing a calf injury for a few more weeks.
Barney is out of the lineup Sunday against the Orioles. Barney initially looked primed to take over as the Blue Jays' primary third baseman when Josh Donaldson (calf) was placed on the 10-day disabled list. However, it appears he'll instead have to settle for the shorter end of a platoon with the lefty-hitting Chris Coghlan, who was promoted from Triple-A Buffalo on Friday. Coghlan will man third base for the second game in a row, relegating Barney to a bench role.
Barney started at third base for the second straight game and went 1-for-2 in Thursday's loss to the Orioles. The Jays' regular third baseman, Josh Donaldson, filled the DH role and exited the game early after reaggrevating his calf injury. The biggest news here is that Donaldson was removed from the contest after pulling up lame while running the bases. Donaldson continues to deal with a right calf issue that has already cost him time this season. That said, it might be time for the Jays to shut down the slugger for a bit and turn the reigns over to Barney. The latter did a fine job filling in for a slew of injured infielders last year, including 32 games in which Barney took over third for Donaldson. With expanded positional eligibility and a major bump in playing time possibly coming his way, Barney could become useful in AL-only formats if Donaldson does in fact need time off.
Barney went 2-for-2 with a walk and scored a run in Thursday's victory over Tampa Bay. Starting in place of Devon Travis (rest) at second base, Barney made the most of his opportunities from the bottom of the order. His single in the third inning started a rally that ended with a grand slam by Kendrys Morales. Through the team's first few contests, Barney has seen time in left field and now at second. He'll continue to be deployed as the Jays' super-utility man moving forward.
Barney struck out as a pinch hitter in his only at-bat of Monday's Opening Day loss to the Orioles. The super-utility man played left field, a position he's defended just five times in his career, for two frames during the extra-inning affair. As evidenced in Monday's game, Barney's fantasy appeal stems from his versatility, an attribute that should continue to provide the 31-year-old with consistent (albeit limited) plate appearances during the campaign.
|vs WACHA (CAREER)||0/2||.000||0||0||0||0||0|