Turn Off Ads?
Results 1 to 15 of 15

Thread: Don't sell Lopez short (2/28)

  1. #1
    "Let's Roll" TeamBoone's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Cincinnati
    Posts
    12,841

    Don't sell Lopez short (2/28)

    Tuesday, February 28, 2006
    Don't sell Lopez short
    He's evolved and matured since start of 2005
    BY JOHN FAY | ENQUIRER STAFF WRITER

    SARASOTA, Fla. - Last April was a character test for Felipe Lopez.

    He lost the battle for the starting shortstop job to Rich Aurilia in spring training.

    In the past, Lopez might have moped. He might have gone into a shell. But, last season, he just kept working.

    "I thought he matured even as the year went on last year," Reds manager Jerry Narron said. "I was impressed with him early in the year when Rich was playing shortstop, and he didn't roll over and die. He kept working hard and waiting his turn.

    "It would have been easy for him to go to the end of the dugout and pout. He didn't do that."

    Lopez got his chance May 11 when Aurilia went on the disabled list.

    The starting shortstop job was Lopez's by the time Aurilia returned from the DL.

    Lopez would go on to hit .291 with 23 home runs, 97 runs, 34 doubles and 85 RBI. He led National League shortstops in home runs, runs batted in and extra-base hits. He was second in slugging and third in average, on-base percentage and doubles.

    It was one of the best offensive years ever by a Reds' shortstop.

    What was the difference for Lopez, who had not had more than eight homers or 34 RBI in a big-league season?

    "Comfort," he said. "Not being afraid to fail. I didn't get down on myself. I've always had the ability. It was a matter of being comfortable."

    Lopez, 25, has given himself a tough act to follow. He says he won't be satisfied merely to meet his numbers from a year ago.

    "Every year, you try to improve something," Lopez said. "I've worked on everything. I'm not - I can't be - satisfied with what I did last year. I've got to improve."

    Lopez attributed part of his success to the offseason work with Rick Eckstein, brother of St. Louis shortstop David Eckstein, and a group of players in Orlando.

    "I did the same thing as last offseason," he said.

    Lopez finished last season strong. He had a rough August, hitting .231. But he bounced back, hitting .327 in September and .375 in October.

    "I prepare myself in the offseason for that, so I can go 162 (games), no problem," he said. "I take that seriously. I keep up with it during the season."

    The Reds added Bucky Dent as infield/bench coach. Narron thinks having a former big-league shortstop to work with will help Lopez.

    "I don't know about the physical part of it," Narron said. "He might make more errors this year than last. But I think with the mental part Bucky will really help him."

    Lopez gave up a chance to play for Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic to spend time in camp with Dent.

    "It's going good," Lopez said. "I like his methods, his ways of teaching. So far, it's been great. He said we don't have to change anything big. It's little things."

    Lopez made only 17 errors last season in 148 games after making 15 in a 79 games the year before.

    Dent isn't looking for drastic changes.

    "We'll work on little things," Dent said. "Little subtle things can really help."

    When you're coming off a year like Lopez's, getting a little better can be a really good thing.

    http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.d...602280377/1078
    "Enjoy this Reds fans, you are watching a legend grow up before your very eyes" ... DoogMinAmo on Adam Dunn

  2. Turn Off Ads?
  3. #2
    The Lineups stink. KronoRed's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    West N. Carolina
    Posts
    55,621

    Re: Don't sell Lopez short (2/28)

    Quote Originally Posted by TeamBoone

    He lost the battle for the starting shortstop job to Rich Aurilia in spring training.
    AHem..he didn't lose it..it was never a battle, it was handed to Rich

    Good article otherwise
    Go Gators!

  4. #3
    Member Superdude's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    2,779

    Re: Don't sell Lopez short (2/28)

    it was handed to Rich
    I believe it's Richie now.

  5. #4
    smells of rich mahogany deltachi8's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    3,001

    Re: Don't sell Lopez short (2/28)

    Hey, Don't sell Richie short either - he's a tremendous slouch.
    Nothing to see here. Please disperse.

  6. #5
    "Let's Roll" TeamBoone's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Cincinnati
    Posts
    12,841

    Re: Don't sell Lopez short (2/28)

    Quote Originally Posted by KronoRed
    AHem..he didn't lose it..it was never a battle, it was handed to Rich

    Good article otherwise
    Yes, it was. Why do they write this stuff? Especially when it's an out and out lie.
    "Enjoy this Reds fans, you are watching a legend grow up before your very eyes" ... DoogMinAmo on Adam Dunn

  7. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    191

    Re: Don't sell Lopez short (2/28)

    Or one could say that having Aurillia begin the year as the starting SS helped motivate Lopez to elevate his game. Lopez was given an opportunity in 2004 to win the starting job and showed a lot of lapses in concentration. If he was given the job out of spring training, he might've taken it for granted.

  8. #7
    "Let's Roll" TeamBoone's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Cincinnati
    Posts
    12,841

    Re: Don't sell Lopez short (2/28)

    Quote Originally Posted by bottom_feeder
    Or one could say that having Aurillia begin the year as the starting SS helped motivate Lopez to elevate his game. Lopez was given an opportunity in 2004 to win the starting job and showed a lot of lapses in concentration. If he was given the job out of spring training, he might've taken it for granted.
    But he won it outright in 2005, and it still wasn't given to him.
    "Enjoy this Reds fans, you are watching a legend grow up before your very eyes" ... DoogMinAmo on Adam Dunn

  9. #8
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Columbia, SC
    Posts
    290

    Re: Don't sell Lopez short (2/28)

    I actually wrote Fay about this and he basically said Rich was just as good as FeLo in ST.

  10. #9
    "Let's Roll" TeamBoone's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Cincinnati
    Posts
    12,841

    Re: Don't sell Lopez short (2/28)

    Quote Originally Posted by BoxingRed
    I actually wrote Fay about this and he basically said Rich was just as good as FeLo in ST.
    Yeah, I'm sure he was there every minute. Not!

    But the coaches were.

    It kills me when they tell people this kind of crap.
    "Enjoy this Reds fans, you are watching a legend grow up before your very eyes" ... DoogMinAmo on Adam Dunn

  11. #10
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    1,187

    Re: Don't sell Lopez short (2/28)

    First off, I think Lopez is, and was the better SS. However, with his lapses in defense in 2004 and the fact that he was in competition with a veteran, he had to be nothing short of stellar in ST going into 2005. He just didn't blow away Rich like he needed to. You can look back and say look what Lopez did, how can you say he didn't deserve it, but with his performance in 2004, how could you have expected such a vast improvement in 2005. Thats just one man's opinion.

  12. #11
    The Lineups stink. KronoRed's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    West N. Carolina
    Posts
    55,621

    Re: Don't sell Lopez short (2/28)

    Aurilia's stats in 2004 were atrocious and he was released at one point, why did they give him an edge over Lopez?
    Go Gators!

  13. #12
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    1,187

    Re: Don't sell Lopez short (2/28)

    I'm not saying it is right, but the years he had in San Francisco didn't hurt, especially 2001. He had proven to be a servicable player for the Giants. Up untill last season, knowing that there are no sure things in baseball, what had Felipe proven? 48 errors all told in 269 Major League games. 33 of them came while in 183 games at SS. 48 errors in 983 chances coming into 2005 for a .951 fielding percentage. Not exactly great. It gets just slightly better if you narrow it down to the time he spent at SS. He had a .956 fielding percentage at SS (33 errors in 750 chances). All of that, plus the money factor, is why I think that Rich got the nod. You have to remember who was in power at the time. Again, not saying its right, but it just boils down to the fact that it was Rich's position to lose, and Felipe did nothing to take over the position.

    I do believe, however, that the competition caused by the signing of Rich, if nothing more, proved that Felipe has the drive it takes to make it on this level. If Felipe was handed the position, do you think he would have had the type of year he did. It is one of those things that is a personal belief, and there is no way to prove one way or the other, but I think that Felipe raised his level of play because he knew he had to win over the position. Again, just one man's opinion, make of it what you will.

  14. #13
    The Lineups stink. KronoRed's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    West N. Carolina
    Posts
    55,621

    Re: Don't sell Lopez short (2/28)

    I'm not saying they should have haded him the job right before anything, but he won it in ST, why not let him have what he won?
    Go Gators!

  15. #14
    "Let's Roll" TeamBoone's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Cincinnati
    Posts
    12,841

    Re: Don't sell Lopez short (2/28)

    Quote Originally Posted by KronoRed
    I'm not saying they should have haded him the job right before anything, but he won it in ST, why not let him have what he won?
    Totally agree. Why go through the motions of saying they'd battle for the position in ST (Miley) and then hand it to the guy who lost the battle?
    "Enjoy this Reds fans, you are watching a legend grow up before your very eyes" ... DoogMinAmo on Adam Dunn

  16. #15
    "Let's Roll" TeamBoone's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Cincinnati
    Posts
    12,841

    Re: Don't sell Lopez short (2/28)

    February 28, 2006
    Confidence key for Reds' Lopez
    By LONNIE WHEELER

    This time last year, Felipe Lopez showed up wearing his confidence on his arm.

    His tattoos bleed together from shoulder to wrist, flowing down from the baseball painted onto his right upper arm (the left being reserved for his two daughters). "Everything's built in around the baseball," said the Cincinnati Reds' all-star shortstop. "The dragon going underneath is supposed to protect me from any evil. Everything has to do with confidence."

    As dragons go, Lopez's quickly became one of the most productive in all of baseball. Armed with a fire-breathing belief in himself, Lopez has emerged as a living, ripping, playmaking example of what confidence can do for a young man who already has the other big-league necessities.

    To the Reds' considerable surprise, he reported last year as a readier, steadier player. His hands no longer betrayed him. His throws confined themselves to a more catchable spectrum. His bat busted out.

    Put it all together, and his development can be measured not just by his Silver Slugger award as the National League's best offensive shortstop, or by his increasing professionalism at the plate, or by the assuredness with which he approached whatever was hit his way. Perhaps the most telling statistic is this: It was the first time, major leagues or minor, that the young switch-hitter actually produced more home runs (23) than errors (17).

    In 2000, with the Toronto Blue Jays' Class AA affiliate in Tennessee, Lopez paired nine homers with 44 miscues. In the equivalent of four minor-league seasons, his errors exceeded his home runs by an alarming 91. Entering the 2005 season, his combined Reds experience - the club acquired him after the 2002 season, in a trade for Elmer Dessens - featured nine long balls and 31 official screw-ups, many of the latter resulting from a flammable combination of tentativeness, nervousness and the poor judgment that inevitably results.

    But last year was different; even before May 11, when Rich Aurilia's strained hamstring made a starter of the guy whom Barry Larkin had hoped would be his successor. Lopez had presented his new maturity from the first day of spring training. He had showcased it in his few regular-season starts at shortstop and second base.

    "It comes with experience and comes from being comfortable out there," said the 25-year-old Puerto Rico native, who attended high school in Florida and was drafted right out of it in the first round. "Once you have confidence and you're comfortable at the big-league level, I think you can calm down and be yourself and not try to do more than you can."

    It's harder than it sounds. Ask Brandon Larson. Ask Ryan Wagner.

    You could ask Edwin Encarnacion, as well, because Lopez has dutifully schooled him on the subject. That's a remarkable thing unto itself. With less than five months of starting experience, the settled-down shortstop has quickly become the most established of the Cincinnati infielders.

    Barring the trade of a Reds outfielder, Adam Dunn will be opening fresh at first base. Second will be manned by a veteran to be named later, most likely coming from the cluster of Aurilia, Tony Womack and Ryan Freel. And then, to Lopez's right, is the 23-year-old Dominican who inherited third base after Joe Randa was traded late last July.

    It was no coincidence that Encarnacion joined Lopez for some winter workouts at the latter's haunt in Orlando. In the still unproven prospect, Lopez has already found a willing someone to whom he can pass along the lessons bestowed upon him by Larkin.

    "The shortstop is like the captain of the infield," Lopez said. "Eddie being young, I advise him about what I went through. He has to make his own mistakes and learn from them.

    "You have to make mistakes. When you're a little kid and your parents tell you not to do something, you do it anyway, and you find out that's not the thing to do. You've got to let them make their mistakes and learn from them."

    Heaven knows that he did. In addition to all the unbecoming errors, there were also the many unofficial failings. The most infamous occurred early in 2003, when, in an otherwise forgettable home game against the Braves, he failed to attend to a relay throw from left field, exacerbating a difficult inning for pitcher Ryan Dempster. When they finally reached the dugout, Dempster lit into Lopez, his finger in the youngster's face.

    Later that season, after he had been mercifully dispatched to Louisville, Lopez dislocated his left ankle in a gruesome accident at home plate. It no doubt contributed to his halting 2004.

    So it was, last year, that his .291 batting average, his 85 RBIs, his 15 stolen bases, his 282 total bases, his sometimes brilliant shortstopping and his suddenly-on-you stardom came wheeling out of a blind spot. So it is that Lopez has swiftly acquired stature in the Cincinnati scheme of things.

    "As time goes by," said manager Jerry Narron, "I think he definitely can be a leader on the infield. Because of his makeup, I think he will grow into that role and be a leader by example."

    His role in the Reds' lineup is likely to evolve, as well. When, by dint of patience and approach, he began to figure out the hitting thing last year, Lopez was fixed at or near the top of the batting order. His power and production, however, suggest a player who could eventually man the third spot - a big-bat shortstop in the mold of, say, Miguel Tejada.

    "There's no doubt in my mind that he can be a No. 3 hitter," said Narron. "But right now, with Junior here, he's not."

    With Griffey on hand, Lopez is probably not the Reds' best player, either.

    Is he?

    http://www.knoxnews.com/kns/baseball...505565,00.html
    "Enjoy this Reds fans, you are watching a legend grow up before your very eyes" ... DoogMinAmo on Adam Dunn


Turn Off Ads?

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Board Moderators may, at their discretion and judgment, delete and/or edit any messages that violate any of the following guidelines: 1. Explicit references to alleged illegal or unlawful acts. 2. Graphic sexual descriptions. 3. Racial or ethnic slurs. 4. Use of edgy language (including masked profanity). 5. Direct personal attacks, flames, fights, trolling, baiting, name-calling, general nuisance, excessive player criticism or anything along those lines. 6. Posting spam. 7. Each person may have only one user account. It is fine to be critical here - that's what this board is for. But let's not beat a subject or a player to death, please.

Thank you, and most importantly, enjoy yourselves!


RedsZone.com is a privately owned website and is not affiliated with the Cincinnati Reds or Major League Baseball


Contact us: Boss | GIK | BCubb2003 | dabvu2498 | Gallen5862 | LexRedsFan | Plus Plus | RedlegJake | redsfan1995 | The Operator | Tommyjohn25