In 60 innings as a reliever, Barnes is 4-1 with a 2.10 ERA, 89-to-15 SO/BB ratio, a .167 opponents batting average, and ten saves.
"He's been tremendous," Lansing manager Mike Redmond said. "I mean if you look at his numbers he probably has some of the best numbers for a reliever in this league. He goes out there and he throws strikes.
"He seems to have a fastball that people just don't hit. He hides the ball well, he has to, but the key to him is he throws strikes. You throw strikes, you have a chance.
"He's been fun to watch and what he needs to work on is a secondary pitch. He's going to need that to be more successful as he goes down the road, but as a catcher I always like a guy who could throw strikes and that fastball is the best pitch in baseball.
"He takes the ball whenever we give it to him and that's a testament to how hard he's worked and how consistent he's been. He's gone out there all year and done the same thing."
Barnes has been remarkably consistent this season as a shutdown reliever and credits his fastball as being a big part of that success.
"I really pitch off my fastball a lot," Barnes said. "For me it's all about locating the fastball in and out, up and down and throwing the curveball you know just to show it to the hitter and keep it in the back of their mind. Also, I have a changeup that I can use too.
"The thing with my changeup is I really feel like it's a good pitch," he said. "I just have to be more consistent with it. I feel comfortable throwing it at anytime.
"One thing I've been working on is throwing a slider, right now I'm throwing a slurve. Over the last few weeks I've been working on throwing a pure slider that's almost cutter-like. My goal is to get that down by the end of the year."
Barnes' delivery might be a tad unorthodox, but it's worked very well for him to this point in his career.
"To me my mechanics feel good," he said. "I know everyone says I have a funky delivery, but it feels normal to me. One thing for me is staying on top of the ball, sometimes I'll drop my elbow and it's just a matter of staying on top and repeating it."
Pitching coach Vince Horsman had glowing reports not only about Barnes' play on the field, but his work ethic and professionalism away from the diamond.
"Danny is just doing a nice job," he said. "He's probably been the most consistent guy on the staff the entire year. He's been here all year long and he's just been a pleasure to have on the staff. He's really a calming influence to have a guy with that ability, but also the work ethic day in and day out is tremendous.
"He is someone that comes in everyday prepared to pitch. His season is a testament to what he does and not what I have done for him as far as anything mechanical. It's just the way he goes about his business, he does it the right way."
Horsman also spoke about Barnes' long term potential and what he has to do to one day reach it.
"His secondary pitches need to sharpen up for him to go deep in the organization," Horsman said. "His curveball is mediocre at best, we've been working on a cut-fastball and slider to give him something with a little more firmness and quick action to it to play off his fastball.
"He's been tinkering with it and he hasn't thrown it in games yet, just in the bullpen when he warms up and he's starting to get a feel for it. I would expect here shortly that he'll start mixing it in during games.
"And it just gives him something to play off the fastball and that'll make his fastball a little bit better. I think if he gets that, then Danny will really be something to pay attention to."
Barnes spoke about the possibility of moving up in the organization, though he is happy to be with the Lugnuts.
"You always have to challenge yourself and try to improve because the minute you think you're good is when you stop getting better and things stop working out," he said.
"You always feel like you're ready and that you want to be challenged, but what we have going on here is pretty special. The team that we have and how close everyone is and how well the team is doing is pretty special. I'm pretty happy to be here. I mean, even if I was in the major leagues right now, I'd still be working on a slider."
Barnes has thrown 60 innings this season, which is already 23 more innings than he threw all of last season, but he's not worried about how he'll hold up the rest of the way.
"You get a little tired toward the end of the year," he said. "I remember last year it was hard towards the end, like I sort of broke down a little bit physically.
"Last offseason I got in better shape and coming into this year with more experience and knowing how to take care of yourself better I feel like I'm holding up alright now.
"You learn a lot. A lot of guys when August comes around they want to rest more because they don't feel as good [as they did earlier in the year], but the trick is you need to work even harder in August and that's what I'm trying to do now."
Barnes Looking To Finish Strong
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