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Barney latest rookie to join Cubs

SAN FRANCISCO -- Infielder Darwin Barney will be making his Cubs debut on Thursday. He will join the 25-man roster and replace Mike Fontenot, who was traded on Wednesday.

“With Barney being an infielder, I’m sure he’ll get a chance to stay and make a contribution,” bench coach Alan Trammell said. “Then we’ll see what his future holds.”

Barney will be the 14th Cubs rookie on the team this year. Only Detroit has had more rookies in 2010.

Barney will be utilized as a backup at both shortstop and second base, now that Fontenot has been traded.

"He’ll have to go over [to shortstop],” Trammell said. “But that won’t be an issue because that’s where he’s played this season. Going back to spring training we worked him out at second a lot. Just because, if he got to the big league we thought he’d be starting off as a utility guy.”

It appears Barney will have a chance to play some second base against left-handers when Blake DeWitt is not starting. Barney, 24, was a fourth-round draft pick in 2007 by the Cubs. He attended Oregon State, and resides in Beaverton, Ore.

Piniella set to return: Plans are for manager Lou Piniella to rejoin the team in St. Louis on Friday. Trammell spoke to Piniella again on Wednesday. “I did talk to Lou today,” Trammell said. “He really sounded good. Obviously, he’s really glad we got a win [on Tuesday]. I could sense in his voice that he was somewhat relieved that he’s getting some things done for his mother.”

Piniella will have missed the four games in San Francisco tending to care for his 90-year-old mother who has been in and out of the hospital over the last month.