• Without Barney in the lineup, Cubs second basemen entered Tuesday hitting just .125 (3-for-24). But Sveum said there was also a presence in the field that is missed when he is not playing.
"I'm not pointing fingers. We haven't really been productive anywhere. It's not just there," Sveum said. "But you miss that defense, and the lack of striking out, as well. That defense is the best in baseball. When you lose that, you've got a chance of giving up runs and losing games because that defense isn't out there.
"He know this system of playing guys and reading bats, whether we're shifting or whatever. He knows that whole system and understands the pitchers on the mound, the pitches being thrown. There's just a calmness when he's out there."
• Sveum said he hoped fans would go a little easier on reliever Carlos Marmol, who recently lost his spot as the team's closer and was booed yesterday in the team's home opener.
"Hopefully he pitches well in the role he's at," Sveum said. "Hopefully he's really good and things do lighten up. It's unfortunate, but like I said yesterday, that's the fans' prerogative. They pay their money for the ticket. I don't know if a lot of people have gone through that kind of thing on Opening Day, but we've all been booed and been in big cities, the Bostons and the New Yorks and the Phillys. When things aren't going good, guys get booed. That comes with that ticket."
Joey Nowak is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @joeynowak.& This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.