8/30/2013 7:36 P.M. ET
Sandberg left mark with young Cubs, especially Barney
By Carrie Muskat / MLB.com
CHICAGO -- Darwin Barney still has a bat autographed by Ryne Sandberg, his former Triple-A manager. The current Cubs second baseman also remembers all the lessons he learned from the former one, now a Hall of Famer and back at Wrigley Field on Friday as the Phillies' interim manager.
"I admired the way he prepared for the game every day, his intensity, the way baseball was his life," Barney said before the Cubs' 6-5 loss to the Phillies. "He went about it the right way and respected it, where he's like, 'I'll start in the Minor Leagues and won't try to jump on with a buddy and be a bench coach.' He wanted to learn how to manage. The way he went about his business every day, and the way he helped me out before games at second base [was huge]."
Sandberg spent four seasons in the Cubs' organization as a Minor League manager, and he was passed over for the big league job twice. He then left to manage in the Phillies' system and was on the big league team's coaching staff this year. When Charlie Manuel was dismissed, Sandberg took over.
Barney was Iowa's starting shortstop, but he was passed over when the Cubs promoted Starlin Castro from Double-A Tennessee in May 2010. Barney went to Sandberg because he wanted to know what to do to earn that call. Sandberg and Barney began working at second base before games three times a week, at home and on the road.
"I was fortunate to have a good relationship with him," Barney said. "The ability to communicate with him was very helpful."
Cubs manager Dale Sveum could relate to Sandberg's interim status. Sveum was the Brewers' interim manager for 12 games in 2008.
"The biggest thing is we're probably taking over in the same kind of way," said Sveum, hired as the Cubs' manager prior to the 2012 season. "I took over as interim with 12 games. He's got a couple months, six weeks. As a coach, you've got your own little world, and then all of a sudden, you have everybody's little world, all 25 players, and the game management as well. You have so many responsibilities, [including] the media as well as the game management as well as managing 25 players."
Sveum said he didn't even think about being an "interim" manager. He was the manager.
"You're just managing at that time, you don't worry about any tag," he said. "You have a job to do and that's all you can do."
Sveum expected the Wrigley Field crowd to give Sandberg a nice welcome.
"A guy coming back to a place where he was a Hall of Famer, he deserves a lot of attention," Sveum said. "He had a heck of a career here in Chicago. On the field, off the field, he was the ultimate professional, and [he] deserves all the attention he's going to get. He's one of the best players of all time."
Valbuena, Sweeney to rejoin Cubs this weekend
CHICAGO -- Third baseman Luis Valbuena, outfielder Ryan Sweeney and pitcher Rafael Dolis will join Class A Kane County to continue their rehab assignments, with Valbuena and Sweeney set to be called up to the Cubs when rosters expand on Sunday.
Valbuena has been sidelined since Aug. 3 with a right oblique strain. He played in two games for the Cubs' Rookie League team in Mesa, Ariz., and was 5-for-7 with two doubles, three RBIs and a stolen base.
Sweeney has been out since crashing into the outfield wall in Seattle on June 29 and suffering a fractured left rib. In four games with the Rookie League team, he was 4-for-14 with two doubles and two RBIs.
Dolis has been sidelined since May 27 because of a right forearm strain.
Cubs manager Dale Sveum said Friday that Valbuena and Sweeney will likely be added once rosters expand on Sunday. The Cubs also were expected to add catcher J.C. Boscan and some pitchers from the Triple-A Iowa roster.
Sveum didn't expect Valbuena to play every day once he returns.
"It's nice to have left-handed bats when you can for matchups," Sveum said. "As for playing every day, I don't know. This last month will be evaluation for a lot of things."
Baker readies for final rehab start
CHICAGO -- Scott Baker, rehabbing from Tommy John surgery, was at Wrigley Field for a bullpen session on Friday, and he will make one more rehab start for Class A Kane County on Monday.
So far, Baker has made two starts for Class A Daytona and five for Kane County. In his last outing on Wednesday, he retired the first 13 batters he faced and gave up one hit over five innings.
"We'll evaluate and see what we want to do the rest of the month," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said of Baker, who signed a one-year, $5.5 million contract with the team last November.
Kane County's season ends on Monday.
• Five members of the Cubs' Double-A Tennessee affiliate were named to the Southern League All-Star team on Friday. They include second baseman Arismendy Alcantara, third baseman Christian Villanueva, shortstop Javier Baez, outfielder Matt Szczur and pitcher Kyle Hendricks.
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.