Dodgers acquire middle infielder Darwin Barney from Cubs

The Cubs traded second baseman Darwin Barney and cash considerations to the Dodgers on Monday for a player to be named later. The Cubs had previously designated the 28-year-old Barney, who is known for his outstanding glove work and horrendous hitting, for assignment on July 22nd.

Barney won the Gold Glove in 2012 after tying a Major League single-season record with 141 consecutive errorless games, but batted .254 in the same year. This season he’s batting .230 with 10 doubles, two triples, two home runs and 16 RBIs in 72 games. Barney has hit .244 with 88 doubles, 18 home runs and 146 RBIs in his career.

Since he’s not very handy with the bat I can’t see Barney getting to many starts. His role with the team will most likely be coming off the bench as a defensive replacement late in games, while getting the occasional start to give Dee Gordon a day off. Barney is not an inspirational acquisition, but a safe one. With Alex Guerrero far from ready to come up from the minors this year, it’s a smart move. The Dodgers get a really solid backup glove in the middle infield at relatively no cost, as “the player to be named later” will most likely be a low-level, non prospect, minor league player.

Dodgers select Grant Holmes in the first round of the MLB Draft.

With the 22nd overall pick in the MLB draft the Dodgers picked Grant Holmes. Holmes is a right-handed pitcher from Conway High School in South Carolina. Instead of pretending I know anything about him, like you’ll see a lot of other bloggers do, I’ll give you the best first hand acount of someone who’s seen him live. Clint Longenecker wrote about seeing Holmes in April for Baseball America. In it he said,

After running his fastball up to 97 in recent starts, Holmes touched 94 mph and 95 mph in the first inning, sitting 90-92 over extended innings, touching 93. Holmes pitched off his fastball, as 76 percent of his pitches were heaters. He worked from the third-base side of the rubber and the ball jumped out of his hand.

He has a heavy fastball with arm-side run and sink when on top. Monday he showed greater ability to pitch to his glove side after pitching more to his arm side on the showcase circuit. Holmes, who turned 18 the last week in March, had an impressive second inning, when he struck out the side on 10 pitches and eight straight strikes.

His 78-81 mph power breaking ball with considerable depth and abrupt tilt was a swing-and-missing offering on the day, and he commanded the pitch. Three-quarters of his 16 breaking balls went for strikes, garnering five swings and misses.

“He has the power to his curveball and he can shape it,” a National League scout said. “When it is on, look out. He doesn’t abuse or overuse, but it was on last night. It is a plus breaking ball. It is an out pitch.”

The Florida commit also showed feel for his 84-86 mph changeup that showed at least above-average potential, flashing plus. Holmes had a standout sequence and showed his feel for the offering to end the fifth inning as he faced the leadoff hitter, who had a hard, line-drive single to left field in his first plate appearance and a hard out to left in his second.

A lot of other people seem to think that although he doesn’t have the projection of other pitchers in the Draft he does have “now’ type stuff with his pitches. Jason Parks from Baseball Prospectus tweeted that it was, “Huge value for Dodgers getting Grant Holmes at #22. I love this pick.” From Jason to others that I’ve heard and read, it seems like a solid pick by the Dodgers, who always seem to do very well in selecting good pitching in the first round more times than not.

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