ST. LOUIS -- Emilio Bonifacio ranks among the Major League leaders in hits, and Cubs manager Rick Renteria has tried to get the versatile switch-hitter in the lineup every day, either in the outfield or at second. That means Darwin Barney sits.
Barney, 28, has started five of the Cubs' 10 games at second, and was not in the starting lineup Friday night for the series opener against the Cardinals.
"I'm still getting used to finding ways to get myself prepared during the game," Barney said. "In the past, off-days were to rest. Now, I have to find a way to be mentally prepared for that first at-bat, which could be a big at-bat in the game. For me, that's the mindset I'm taking. I've got a 'C' on my chest, and we're trying to win as many games as I can."
Renteria has had Bonifacio in the outfield against left-handed starters, and said he will continue to go with matchups as the season progresses. Renteria does make sure all the players get the lineup the night before a game so there are no surprises.
"I think we're trying to give ourselves the best chance to stay in it," Renteria said.
Barney has been used as a pinch-hitter, and then stayed in the game defensively in three of the other nine games prior to Friday. A Gold Glove second baseman in 2012, he isn't used to not being in the lineup every day.
"I think he's a pro," Renteria said of Barney. "He's in a situation now where he sees the landscape and knows what's going on. He's trying to do everything he can to make sure he maintains himself.
"He's been continuing to work hard and is still doing what he's always done," Renteria said. "I think [all the players] have maintained their positiveness in the whole process. It's still early in the season and things kind of shake out and play themselves out."
Arrieta makes further progress in rehab start
ST. LOUIS -- Jake Arrieta continues to make progress in his rehab from tightness in his right shoulder, and he will make another Minor League rehab start with Double-A Tennessee.
Arrieta made his second start for the Smokies on Thursday, and went 3 2/3 innings.
"He's on track and moving forward," Cubs manager Rick Renteria said.
Arrieta will make at least one more Minor League start for Tennessee, and the Cubs will then re-evaluate the right-hander's status at that time. He reported to Spring Training with the shoulder problem.
In his two outings so far, Arrieta has given up one unearned run on three hits and three walks while striking out seven over 6 2/3 innings.
The Cubs have played two extra-inning games this season, and even though they have six quality starts in the first nine games, the bullpen has been busy.
Chicago's relievers rank sixth in the National League in innings pitched with 32 1/3 heading into Friday's game against St. Louis.
Renteria said they're keeping tabs on how much work the relievers get. Justin Grimm and Hector Rondon are tied for eighth in the NL in innings pitched with six each, while Brian Schlitter is right behind with 5 2/3 innings.
One pitcher who hasn't gotten much work is lefty Wesley Wright, who has been in two of the nine games, and last pitched April 4.
"Wesley is up and ready to go," Renteria said Friday. "We haven't used him, but he's available."
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.