April 30, 2012 at 10:46 PM
|Matt Barnes (Kelly O'Connor)|
WILMINGTON, DEL. -- In a profession where most of a player’s time is spent out on the road and away from their families, the timing of Matt Barnes’ promotion to High A Salem had a bit of special significance for the 2011 first round pick.
Barnes, who allowed a run on three hits and no walks while striking out eight in 5.2 innings on Sunday for Low A Greenville up Interstate 95 in Lakewood, N.J., was informed after the game that he’d received the rare April promotion and was to meet up with Salem the next day.
Then, he got to share the news with his parents, who were in town from Connecticut on the Drive’s sole northern swing of the season.
“Like I’ve said, I’m not trying to focus on (when it was going to happen),” Barnes said. “Nonetheless, I was excited my family was there and they got to experience it with me. I’m just kind of excited to have the opportunity to move up this early.”
Barnes, who posted a 0.34 ERA in 26.2 innings of work for Greenville, began his career with 21 straight scoreless innings for the Drive, and said he’s pleased with how consistent he’s been so far this season.
He said that during Sunday’s outing, he was able to go out and attack the zone with his fastball and work in his secondary pitches.
Barnes said he believes he’ll debut Saturday for Salem, but until then, he’s settling in with the new club.
“I know a bunch of guys from spring training, so it’s been nice to catch back up with them and just get settled into the atmosphere,” he said.