Rodrigo Lopez has a career ERA of 4.82 in 1,046.2 career innings. He
enjoyed three excellent seasons with the Baltimore Orioles in 2002, 2004, and
2005, combining to go 44-30 with a 4.06 ERA. Since the end of 2005,
however, Lopez is 17-23 with a 5.49 ERA.
There's no denying the Lopez has outpitched Billy Buckner and Kevin Mulvey,
his main competition for the rotation spot, all spring. Lopez has a 2.35
spring ERA, along with 12 strikeouts to just three walks in 15.1 innings.
Mulvey went 0-2 with a 5.79 ERA and seven walks in 9.2 innings while Buckner
allowed a team-high four homers and had a 10.13 ERA before the pair were
optioned to Triple-A Reno.
The D-backs will use a four-man rotation until April 17, when manager A.J. Hinch will turn to whatever pitcher has impressed the most at Reno.
"We have a lot of choices for the fifth starter," Hinch said, citing Mulvey,
Buckner, Kris Benson, and Bryan Augenstein as candidates. "We'll make that
[decision] when we have to."
Lopez is not currently on the D-backs' 40-man
roster, so one player who is will need to be removed from it and exposed to
waivers in order to accommodate the veteran.
Also, outfielder Cole Gillespie, first baseman Brandon Allen, and catcher
Sean Coughlin have all been moved to minor league camp after making excellent
impressions this spring.
Are you a full member of
FutureBacks.com? If not, then you are missing out on the top
Diamondbacks coverage we provide to our premium members, as well as full
access to over 400 other Scout.com sites.
Join us today!