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If needed, Barney excited for chance to pitch

ST. LOUIS -- On Monday, Cardinals infielder Daniel Descalso was needed to pitch in the ninth in the Cubs' 17-5 win. On Tuesday, as the Cubs and Cardinals played extra innings, Darwin Barney, Ryan Kalish and John Baker were discussing which one of them would take the mound if needed.

The last time the Cubs used a position player to pitch was Aug. 27, 2012, when Joe Mather did so against the Brewers in a 15-4 Chicago loss. Before the game, manager Rick Renteria said he wasn't sure whom he would call on.

A Gold Glove second baseman, Barney has experience pitching. He did so in high school and was going to pitch at Oregon State but an elbow injury limited him. In 2006, he pitched in relief for a collegiate USA team when it had a 12-run lead.

"Pitching was always a big part of my life, baseball-wise," Barney said Wednesday. "I would want to do it again."

But in the big leagues?

"Anywhere," he said. "When I'm done playing, I'm going to play in a men's league and I'll pitch. It'll be fun. Baseball's fun."

Was he jealous of Descalso?

"The guy was probably having the time of his life," Barney said. "Yeah, they're losing, but how many position players get to pitch in the big leagues? It would've been different in a 3-3 game, but if I did hold an inning, I would expect that save opportunity."

His repertoire includes a fastball, slider and change.

"I used to have a curveball," he said, "but I'm not sure I could control it anymore."

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat.
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