Lopez to stick and start?
From Bob Finnigan’s roster construction story today spring a few intriguing matters, greatest of which is speculation that Jose Lopez may start at shortstop.
But a seismic shift appears to be happening at shortstop. With Pokey Reese’s spring affected by an ankle problem and, more lately, personal matters that took him out of camp for several days, Jose Lopez has used the opportunity and shown far better play at short than he did when he was called up for the last half of last season Ã¢â‚¬â€ in addition to hitting .308 this spring with some big late-game, run-producing hits.
Though this is “far from decided,” Finnigan reports that if Lopez stays in the majors, he’ll start.
Our thoughts on why this isn’t good for him or for the team have been repeated quite a bit. Even if you don’t buy those arguments, though, this would have a domino effect on big-league jobs.
Mike Hargrove appears adamant about starting the year with 12 pitchers, so if Lopez breaks camp with the big club, then there is no open spot on the bench — Pokey Reese would slide into a backup role. That leaves your reserves as Dan Wilson, Scott Spiezio, Willie Bloomquist and Pokey. If this happens, I guess we won’t be pinch-hitting a lot early in the season. At least, I hope not.
If Lopez starts the season in Tacoma, there will be an extra spot on the bench, which the article implies would be filled by Jamal Strong or (eek!) Greg Dobbs. Bucky Jacobsen would presumably get that spot if and when he is healthy.