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Cubs' Barney improving his power numbers

The SportsXchange

There's one good way to get the OPS elevated.

Second baseman Darwin Barney did just that in Friday's 5-4 victory over the Cardinals in 11 innings. Barney hit a game-tying two-run homer with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning.

There's no questioning Barney's defense. He might be the Gold Glove front-runner.

But Sveum said he'd like to see Barney get his OPS (on-base percentage plus slugging percentage) up over .700. It sat at .690 after Friday's game.

"Obviously, you want the OPS to be over .700," Sveum said. "That kind of defense is saving runs constantly, every single day."

Barney probably won't elevate the OPS with slugging. He has a career-best seven homers this year. His on-base percentage was under .300 recently, but it had risen to .314 Friday.

"Do what he's been doing the last couple of weeks would be just fine," Sveum said. "I'm sure he's at about a .400 on-base percentage the last couple weeks. It's all a process sometimes, like I said early in the season. Everybody wants young guys to have on-base percentage. It doesn't come until you've had your 2,000 at-bats in the major leagues or 4,000 at-bats in professional baseball."

Barney has slightly more than 1,100 big league at-bats and just under 2,700 pro at-bats.

"I feel all right about it," Barney said. "There have been times when I've gone through periods of adjustments and not really helping the offense out that much at times. It's one of those things where we're working on finding an approach I can stick with and take into the off-season and work on it and hopefully come in and stick with one thing next year."
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