Barnes, who has hit .323/.383/.477 for Oklahoma City this season, is two years younger than Brian Bogusevic and is one of the few members of the 2005 draft class to make the majors.
He's replacing Jordan Schafer, who went on the disabled list with an AC separation in his shoulder. It sounded like from his press conference that this has popped up before for Schafer and that he woke up one morning in Atlanta with it bothering him. No timetable yet on Schafer's return.
To clear a spot on the 40-man roster for Barnes, Houston needed to do more than just DL Schafer. So, they designated Triple-A reliever Juan Abreu for assignment. Abreu came over as one of the 50 pitchers Houston got in the Atlanta deal last year for Michael Bourn. Abreu is 27 this season and has a 7.09 ERA in 45 innings for Oklahoma City, with 54 strikeouts and 34 walks. He's also got an FIP of 6.68, so its not like his ERA is unjustly bloated. Houston may not actually lose him, but's not a vote of confidence for his future here.
I'm sure the addition of all those young, semi-ready arms this year (Kevin Chapman, Asher Wojciechowski, Chris Devenski) made an older reliever like Abreu expendable, but it makes that Bourn deal look worse and worse. With Clemens struggling, Oberholtzer having a rough transition to Triple-A and Schafer doing Schafer things, it appears we're getting a sense that trade may not have been very successful.
I'm not nearly as on board as many of you commenters are on Barnes, but what can it hurt to give him a chance? He has no less a shot to hit than Steve Pearce or Scott Moore, and those guys both continue to get consistent at-bats. I don't expect a ton from Barnes, but even if he hits .230, it may be an improvement for this offense.