Notebook: Early bird Lopez thrives at plate
Narron praises SS for hitting, patience
BY JOHN FAY | ENQUIRER STAFF WRITER
DETROIT - Felipe Lopez doesn't leave hitting to chance.
"I stick to my daily routine," he said.
That means getting to the ballpark at 2 p.m. for a 7:05 game. He'll do a little work off the batting tee. He'll hit some soft tosses from coach Chris Chambliss. And he'll take some batting practice in the cages.
That's all before a lot of players even arrive at the park.
"I started doing it last year," Lopez said. "I think baseball is repetition. That's how you get the feel for it."
Lopez, a 26-year-old shortstop, certainly has the feel for it right now. He has a 14-game hitting streak.
Over the first 13 games, Lopez was hitting .446 (25-for-56) with three doubles, two home runs and six RBI.
Overall, Lopez was hitting .309. He was tied for the major-league lead with 16 steals, as well as hits and multi-hit games.
"He's a great offensive player," Reds manager Jerry Narron said. "He can hit."
Lopez had a breakout season last year. He hit .291 with 23 home runs and 85 RBI for one of the best years ever by a Reds shortstop.
"He's patient," Narron said. "The biggest thing is when he gets good pitches to hit, he's a little bit too patient at times. I'd like to see him drive some fastballs early in the count. I know he's capable. But he's been successful, so you can't argue with him."
ROSS IN: Catcher David Ross got a start Saturday on a day when Bronson Arroyo wasn't pitching.
Ross' playing time had been tied directly to Arroyo since Jason LaRue got off the disabled list.
"With a day game tomorrow," Narron said, "I just felt like it was the day for him to catch."
Ross is having a good year at the plate. He went into Saturday hitting .275 with four homers and eight RBI in 40 at-bats.
HAPPY 26th: Saturday was Austin Kearns' 26th birthday.
MAYS WAYS: Right-hander Joe Mays, the pitcher the Reds signed to a minor-league contract Friday, could end up in the spot in the rotation vacated by Dave Williams.
"I didn't sign him to pitch at Louisville," general manager Wayne Krivsky said.
But Mays, who was 0-4 with a 10.27 ERA with Kansas City before being released, will be at Triple-A Louisville for the time being.
"He's got to get his feet under him," Krivsky said. "He's capable of helping us if he can get himself right."
FARM REPORT: Right-hander Justin Germano had one of his better starts for Louisville. He went 72/3 innings, allowing eight hits, in the Bats' 5-0 win over Durham Friday.
Homer Bailey took the loss as Single-A Sarasota fell to Brevard County 7-3. Bailey gave up two runs (one earned) in five innings. He's 1-4 with a 3.18 ERA in nine starts.