August 6, 2008

Cards pick up Lopez, drop Ryan


The Cards picked up Felipe Lopez days after he was released by the Washington Nationals.

A middle infielder hailing from Bayamon, Puerto Rico, Lopez has major league experience, and in fact, was an All-Star in 2005.

According to the St. Louis Cardinals Official Web Site, Lopez is 28 years old. He is a switch hitter.

According to statistics compiled on the Washington Nationals Official Web Site, Lopez had played in 100 games this season. He had 76 hits in 325 at-bats for a batting average of .234 and started 76 games at middle infield positions, 69 of those at second base.

Lopez has played with Toronto, Cincinnati, and Washington.

This season, he has 20 doubles and 25 RBIs.

The Cardinals are bringing Lopez straight to the major league ball club, optioning Brendan Ryan to Triple-A Memphis since, according to manager Tony La Russa, he will get more at bats and playing time then he was likely to currently.

What hasn't been explained is what the Cardinals are going to do with yet another infielder.

The obvious difference to the club, however, is that Lopez brings much more experience to a team that is still in the hunt for a division title, if not the Wild Card spot in the NL.

The Cardinals have some pretty good talent in their minor league system in a variety of positions, but the time for testing them at the major league level has slipped away with less than a third of the season remaining and two bonafide contenders ahead of the Cards right now in the Brewers and the Cubs.

Lopez eliminates at some of the anxiety of "new meat" on the field. Regardless of Lopez's current level of play, one thing is for sure: he won't be out on the field trying to figure out how the Bigs works.
photo by Barbara Moore