Mariners Insider

Rockies designate Jose Lopez for assignment

Post by Ryan Divish on May 26, 2011 at 9:41 pm with 4 Comments »
May 27, 2011 1:01 am
AP photo

One of the things you often hear covering the Mariners is the lamentations of fans when former Seattle players have immediate success as soon as they leave the team.

You know how often I saw some form of the phrase: “Of course Adrian Beltre starts hitting as soon as he leaves Seattle, everyone plays better when the leave the Mariners,” on Twitter and in blog comments last year?

But there have been a few people that haven’t had post-Seattle success. Richie Sexson comes to mind immediately. You can add Jose Lopez to that list now.

The former Mariners infielder, who was dealt to Colorado in the offseason for minor leaguer Chaz Roe, was designated for assignment by the Colorado Rockies. Lopez does have a Triple A option left, but since he has more than five years of major league service time, he could have refused the option and declare for free agency.

Lopez was given a chance to win the starting second base job in spring training and was beat out by Jonathan Herrera. He then was gifted a chance at third base when Ian Stewart completely forgot how to hit. But Lopez didn’t do much with that chance because he didn’t hit either. He played 37 games, and hit .210 (26-for-124) with four doubles, two homers and eight RBI. But his bad habits continued in Coors Field particularly his free-swinging. He took just three walks in 128 plate appearances and his OBP was abysmal .234.

Lopez said it was from lack of consistent playing time and bad luck ...

“I hit the ball hard; that’s all I can do, and I had no luck,” said Lopez, who said he was informed of the decision immediately after Thursday night’s game. “I’ve had this before — hit .170 in 200 at-bats, then start hitting and get to .250, .270.

“I want to play every day. I didn’t get a chance to play every day. That’s what happened. I’d play one day and not get to play the next two. That’s the first time for me. I played the last five years 150 games. This year, I played the first couple weeks, then started getting on the bench.”

Hmm, well, there is some adjusting to playing from the bench.

As for the first comment,  well, last season he was hitting .214 after 191 plate appearances and ended up hitting .239 for the season. He was likely referring to 2009 season when he was hitting .216 after 47 games and 191 plate appearances, and then finished the season hitting .272. But that was the Mariners. They were trying salvage something to trade or use. The Rockies have a different agenda.

Look, I’ve never been a huge Lopez fan. I believe he stopped working with the Mariners. Some have defended his work ethic. I will not. I know what I saw and didn’t see. And the bottom line is, if he was working, the results would have been better.

There was some thought that Lopez might flourish in hitter-friendly Coors Field with a decent lineup around him. But it didn’t happen. Much like the Mariners, he was given chances and didn’t produce. Unlike the Mariners, Lopez had no history with the Rockies and they had little invested in him. So instead of watching the same act over and over again, they simply said good bye.

Lopez isn’t a bad guy. He’s actually a very friendly guy. But that doesn’t change the issues at hand.

Am I surprised it finally led to this?



Leave a comment Comments → 4
  1. Mr. Divish,

    I live in Colorado and have watched all but 5 games so far. I’m inclined to agree with you. I didn’t think Lopez would beat Herrera out to start at 2nd from what I saw at Spring Training in the 1st place. He wasn’t here long enough for me to form an opinion, but his comments on the Post Game tonight gave me my answer. Basically blaming management for him not getting enough at bats because he didn’t start every game when he’s used to playing 150 a year is no excuse! Tracy stopped starting him so much because he wasn’t hitting. As you said, he had plenty of opportunities given to him. He needs to be a man, own up to his inability to hit as the reason he was benched and not an every day starter.

  2. stevenrey says:

    When you here about all the players that work hard, show up early and put significant effort into their success on the field, it makes you wonder how young players can take the opportunities they’ve been given for granted. You find that the really great players are not “naturals.” They’re usually people who have worked extra-hard to put themselves above the rest. So long Lopez. You had your shot.

  3. Stevenrey, very well said and very true. Tulo and Helton are great, but when not performing as well as they should or think they should, they will be in the batting cage before and after games, plus taking part in early and regular batting practice. Hard workers will get their “groove” back eventually.

  4. I think the reason this sort of thing is so upsetting is i work my rear off at my job, & am lucky if i make 25k a year with no benefits. Lopez makes 25k a game & just sits on his butt. Bradley & Figgins make what, 100k a game(I’m too tired to do the math) for sitting on their lazy rears.

    I used to be a pro musician, which is what I love to do. i didn’t make enough $’s to continue, despite again non stop work & effort. Then these ##!$@! get paid a fortune for playing a game & instead of appreciation for their lot in life they just f off.

    I don’t have a problem with a quality player getting all the $’s they can (although the difference between say a teacher’s salary & an athlete’s is pretty ridiculous), but the lazy ungrateful ones (Lopez, Bradley, Figgins, etc) really get to me.

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