Friday, 1 August 2008

A very modest proposal

Noticed in passing on Rotoworld this seemingly insignificant item:

The Nationals have decided to release both Felipe Lopez and Paul Lo Duca and replace them with Emilio Bonifacio and Elijah Dukes.

As I read that it occurred to me - what would be the harm in picking up Lopez off the scrap heap and throwing him out there in our lineup every day? The difference in him, at his worst, and Scutaro is marginal and it would give your coaches a chance to see if they can re-light his fire (hell, we have three hitting coaches and one of the best infield coaches in the game) . . . if we figure him out, we have an inside track on next year's (cheap!) shortstop, if not, we haven't lost anything important.

Lopez, longtime Jays fans will remember, was once one of the hottest SS prospects in the game, called everything from the next Tejada to a poor man's A-Rod. JP inexplicably dealt him to Cincinnati in one of his too-clever early deals that failed to work out. It seemed, for a while, that Lopez was going to make him regret it. In 2005 he put up a 118 OPS+ and was an All Star at the age of 25. The following year his power numbers crashed, but he stole 44 bases (a season in some ways similar to the one Rios is having now) and it was considered a fluke. But in the two years since he has gotten progressively worse as a member of the Washington Nationals.

Is it possible that he peaked at 25 and had his last reasonably decent season at 26? Yeah, it happens sometimes . . . but I'm not ready to just assume so.

Some statistical factoids (i.e. straws I'm grasping at):

Even in this miserable season, Lopez is hitting .726 (OPS) on the road.

This year he has played 2B almost exclusively, but last year he hit better while playing SS than 2B and, again, better on the road.

In the previous season he hit well in the hitter-friendly park in Cincinnati and on the road, but stunk in RFK. I think it's clear that getting him out of Washington can only help) .

Now, I know we're never going to get an All-Star level out of this guy again, but he can't really be THIS bad, can he?



johnny said...

Who would get bumped to make way for him?

Lloyd the Barber said...

The Nats don't play at RFK anymore. The new stadia has a park factor of 1.0029, slightly favoring the hitters. That said, I support this proposal. Throw it against the wall and see what sticks.

The Southpaw said...

Mench I would assume.

Jonathan said...

I think it's entirely possible that he's this bad - other than that one magical season, his career has been garbage. He's also one of the worst defenders in the game (-12 so far this season at 2B, good for 32nd in the league).

Not that Scutaro is any great shakes, but picking Lopez up would remind me of how teams will take turns picking up that lefty starter because he had that one year when he was good back in the 90's...

eyebleaf said...

not felipe lopez related, but it's fucked up how wilkerson keeps making these crazy catches.

aj kissed him!