May 15, 2005

Baseball Stuff

Felipe Lopez plays at the Reds' middle infield. He joined the Reds in 2003 from the Toronto Blue Jays as part of a 4-way trade that sent Elmer Dessens to Arizona. Despite the fact that Lopez played only 79 games the at the major-league level during 2004, he was proclaimed to be the heir to the shortstop throne by 19-year veteran Barry Larkin.

Despite the proclamation, Lopez was expected to compete for (and win) the starting shortstop job against Anderson Machado out of spring training this year. A knee injury in the off-season took Machado out of the picture, but the club still came up with someone for Lopez to compete against by signing veteran Rich Aurilia to a minor league contract. Aurilia won the starting job out of spring training, leaving Lopez with spot starts at short and second. Now that Aurilia is on the DL, Lopez is seeing a lot more time on the field.

Lopez has good range in the infield. He can wow the crowd with shockingly good stops to make fantastic plays. On the routine plays, though, he can just as easily wildly over-throw first base. Basically it looks like Lopez is a defensive stud so long as there isn't time for his brain to get in the way.

At the plate, Lopez provides more power than you'd think he would. Compared to the rest of the Reds' line-up this season, Lopez is looking particularly hot at the plate, but that's hardly a fair comparison. On the basepaths, Lopez brings better speed than instincts, but again, compared to the rest of the Reds' line-up, he looks pretty good.

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