Lopez designated for assignment; Young on way up

May 26, 2011 | 10:18 pm | 47  

The Colorado Rockies designated infielder Jose Lopez for assignment after Thursday’s 6-3 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks. Eric Young Jr., who has played primarily the outfield in the past month, is expected to be recalled Friday before the start of a three-game series with the St. Louis Cardinals.

Lopez, who struck out to make the final out in Thursday’s loss, hit. 208 with just two home runs and eight RBI in 125 at-bats for the Rockies. The Rockies acquired Lopez from Seattle in December for Triple-A pitcher Chaz Roe, who had fallen from prospect status. Brought in to provide some power at second base, Lopez nearly lost the job in spring training and was quickly pushed aside by Jonathan Herrera once the season underway. With Ian Stewart struggling and currently back in Triple-A, Lopez received extended playing time at third base, but he was unable to get his bat going.

Young was hitting .363 with 13 doubles, eight triples and 17 stolen bases at Colorado Springs. He has played more games in the outfield — 34 in center and left combined — than he has at his original position, second base — 20.

47 Comments »

  • progmatinee | May 26, 2011 | 10:22 pm

    better late than never

  • Matthew | May 26, 2011 | 10:25 pm

    as expected

  • DRH | May 26, 2011 | 10:32 pm

    They could try the same thing in the field as Tracy has with the lineup. Put EY in center, move Fowler to 3rd base. “Shake things up.” :-) or is there another symbol for ‘just kidding’ ?

  • Doctor_Christopher | May 26, 2011 | 10:35 pm

    Finally, we can see if EYJR can stick in the bigs…but yes, they have to play him (and hit him lead-off). Watching the DBacks run wild and put pressure on the defense, on the pitcher, on the catcher these four games reminded us all of the importance of speed. If EY can play center with any skill (and I have strong doubts about that), then I really do think that the great Dex Disappointment needs to be looked at (and I say that as a huge Dex fan who wants to see him be great).

    Next up…figuring out 3B.

  • DRH | May 26, 2011 | 10:36 pm

    This one I’m not kidding on. Put EY at 2nd, move Herrera to third. Another poster thought I was crazy earlier this year for suggesting Herrera at third. Maybe I am, but by now others have been driven crazy too.

  • Agbayani | May 26, 2011 | 10:36 pm

    The next two moves should be:

    -Brothers up, Greg Reynolds back down

    -Brad Emaus (I prefer that, since he can play 2B) or Chris Nelson up, Amezaga down

  • miketober | May 26, 2011 | 10:42 pm

    I for one am not happy to see EY coming back. So now that he is an outfielder, where is Jim Tracy going to play him? In RF. JTracy is going to ruin one of the few cylinders that has been firing consistently in this Rockies engine for some flash in the pan speed. Smith will be expected to be Mr. Late Night again, reliving some past glories from 2009, since none of the other highly talented under-achievers on the bench can PH.

  • rockymountainhigh | May 26, 2011 | 10:51 pm

    I suggest another move – send down if options remain J Morales and bring up Matt Pagnozzi if he’s still with the organization. Pagnozzi is about equal to Morales with the bat but far better defensive player. Need to control the basepaths when Ianetta rests.

  • Marc | May 26, 2011 | 10:54 pm

    This organization is true to their word – they have not given up on Ian yet.

  • Swam | May 26, 2011 | 11:02 pm

    This is the greatest day in Rockies history! So long, Lopez. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

  • Michael | May 26, 2011 | 11:09 pm

    O’Dowd woke from his hibernation. Hit EY first or second and play him at 2B and the outfield. He can’t hit .250 and survive though. If he can hit .280 to .300, draw walks like he’s doing in the Springs, steal some bags (a foreign concept around here) and pile up some doubles, the lineup will have a missing ingredient.

    And by the way…Brothers is close but he’s not ready. Cut the walks, become less hittable. Everyone sees the monster strikeout numbers and impressive ERA and doesn’t look at the potential fatal flaws.

  • ColRox your Sox | May 26, 2011 | 11:14 pm

    This doesn’t do anything. Lopez was not the problem. We are getting terrible production up and down the lineup (except for Helton and Smith). There is no life in this team, no excitement. Maybe EY brings a little but it won’t change anything. He won’t be able to play every day due his deficiencies at defense. He is there for speed on the base paths late in the game but with no one knowing how to move runners over it won’t matter. A much more serious shake up will be needed and I think it will involve the coaching staff. Until then…..

  • Jeem | May 26, 2011 | 11:35 pm

    I think DRH has it right. Jonny moves to 3B + EY goes to 2nd + leads off. BTW why are so many people down on Dex? IMO he is one of the few performing up to expectations.

  • rockymountainhigh | May 26, 2011 | 11:37 pm

    Now we don’t have an everyday third baseman. And no life in our offense. Drum roll. Call up Jordan Pacheco who can flat out hit and put him at 3B! If he can range just a little he can’t be any worse than Garret Atkins defensively.

  • rockymountainhigh | May 26, 2011 | 11:44 pm

    Amezaga = EY = Herrera. Three super utilities who switch hit with little power. That leads me to believe there will be another move involving 3B position.

  • Julian | May 27, 2011 | 12:01 am

    Rockymountainhigh, I’ve been waiting for the Sky Sox to play Pacheco at 3B, but I don’t think that he’s played anywhere but catcher (other than DH) all year. He came up as a 2B, so I would think that he could be a 3B. He hit great in spring training, but he’s been pretty ordinary at CS.

  • Rockpile | May 27, 2011 | 12:33 am

    Lopez joins Mike Lansing and Jose Hernandez as acquired middle infield power hitters who ended up as busts. Nice to see the Rockies getting proactive.

    Also, Pacheco isn’t exactly tearing it up in the Springs (.265 average with only 8 extra base hits). I am not sure I would bring him up just yet.

  • Reader f/k/a Mike | May 27, 2011 | 12:58 am

    Pachecho has thrown out 5 of 39 basestealers as well. Rotating the scrubs around is pretty close to re-arranging deck chairs on the Titanic.

  • DRH | May 27, 2011 | 1:26 am

    Its clear what the Rockies need desperately — a guy whose last name starts with a vowel.
    FISSH lets us evaluate the players who needed to improve this year. Lets look at the offseason acquisitions:
    LLIMP
    Lindstrom: A Lopez:D
    Iggington: C Mortensen: B
    Paulino: F Overall, a C so far.
    LLIMP FISSH
    Lets trade for Alvarez (PIT), Izturis (LAA) or Inge(DET). Or forget 3rd base, just trade for Utley. Until then, my apologies to Ty.

  • GARY | May 27, 2011 | 4:15 am

    Don’t underestimate pinch running in late innings-if they walk Helton,Wiggy,Chris,or Giambi.Since we are losing so often by one run I think this is a better move than many above think.Yes,he must bat 1 or 2,but I really believe can be a weapon off the bench.Deja vu to what Willie T.meant to the team in 2007.When he was hurt the offense really sputtered,and when he stopped hitting he was still a late inning threat off the bench,and disrupted setup men and closers alike!

  • rockymountainhigh | May 27, 2011 | 6:16 am

    Remember Matt Holliday? He didn’t hit that well until he got to the majors.

  • Julian | May 27, 2011 | 6:47 am

    I wonder if trying to be a catcher is hurting Pacheco’s hitting Given that we have Rosario in the system, I would think that the Rockies would try to find another position for Pacheco, although I think that they are grooming him for a super utility role: cather/1B/3B. I would love to see his bat get untracked.

  • miketober | May 27, 2011 | 7:05 am

    ColRox got it right. This doesn’t do anything except give the Rockies yet another starter at a position they don’t need (2B or OF). We need a third baseman. More deck chairs to rearrange (good one f/k/a Mike). Some have suggested that EY play 2B and Herrera 3B, but the other night when Amezega started at SS people said it was because Johnny didn’t have the arm to play SS. So now he is going to play 3B? Don’t get me wrong; I like having the speed on the basepaths – as long as the speed doesn’t get picked off first base. I just know JTracy is going to misuse EY by inserting him in the lineup at random places and play him all over the field sitting consistent hitters. The Rockies lineup needs stability and clearly defined roles. It’s okay to experiment by hitting Dex second for a week or move CI up to 7th, and guys need days off. But all this platooning and batting order randomization is bad. How come nobody can pinch hit? Because the whole bench considers themselves starters not bench players. No one (except perhaps Giambi) has developed the mentality to PH because they are all riding pine waiting for their next start. Now we have another starter at a random offensive or defensive position to mix things up even more.

    Sorry this is so rambly; I haven’t had my coffee yet. I really hope to be proved wrong by the team’s performance. Go Rockies!

  • Pooter | May 27, 2011 | 7:11 am

    BOOM BOOM BOOM!!! LET ME HEAR YOU SAY WAHOE!!!

    Here we go now!!!!!!!!!

  • Pooter | May 27, 2011 | 7:43 am

    They need to pick a position and start Jr. there. Sink or swim time Jr.! I hope this lineup happens tonight:

    Jr. CF Jr. 2B
    Herrera 2B Smith RF
    Cargo LF Cargo LF
    Tulo SS OR Tulo SS
    Helton 1B Helton 1B
    Wiggington 3B Wiggs 3B
    Smith RF Iannetta C
    Iannetta C Fowler CF

    I like Fowler but I think a team either needs their CF to be fast on base percentage/ base stealing threat or a big hitter. Fowler is neither. I do prefer the lineup with Jr. at second.

  • Pooter | May 27, 2011 | 7:46 am

    Sorry, the previous post originally had the two lineups seperated and then when submitted it crunched them together. So excited for this change and look foward to Fields or Nelson soon after for Amazaga.

  • Wayne | May 27, 2011 | 7:47 am

    I’m not an EY fan Pooter, but to you and all the EY fans out there I hope he does well for the sake of the team. If he does do well, and adds the spark you believe he will, be gracious and don’t rub our noses in it.

  • Agbayani | May 27, 2011 | 8:18 am

    EY is probably the best they could do right now to try to get some additional punch, or at least energy, into the lineup. The way things are going, I’d install him right away at 2B/leadoff. He’s not great defensively at 2B, but I think Rockies management is way too down on him as a defensive second baseman. He’s not slick like Herrera, but my impression of him is that he was average-ish, and the advanced defensive stats (like UZR) confirm that. I don’t want to see him in the OF because I’m guessing he’ll be pretty bad in CF, and there’s no way CarGo or Smith should be sitting. If they don’t play and hit, we don’t win anyway.

    The Herrera thing at 3B is an awful idea. It’s bad enough the guys they’ve tried there haven’t hit. Putting Herrera there is throwing in the towel since even if he’s hitting well, a no power, .280 BA/.340 OBP player at a corner position just won’t cut it. Wiggy’s making 4 million bucks, you gotta go with him for now. My wild card is Emaus who is probably pretty good defensively at 3B and at least has a minor league rep for getting quality/deep count at bats. Fields is another wild card if Wiggy fails.

    As for Pacheco: he’s a marginal prospect. I was really impressed with his spring as was everyone else, but there’s no reason to think he’d hit enough — even if decent defensively — to play 3B in the majors. I was also very impressed with Ben Paulsen in spring, but he’s struggled so far at AA this season. Let’s not get carried away by good spring training performances. Pacheco may be a good backup catcher as soon as the second half of this year, but he’s probably not going to be a significant upgrade over Morales even at that position.

  • Mike Raysfan | May 27, 2011 | 8:26 am

    I wonder if we went back to the archives, how many who were not so high on EY have now suddenly jumped on the bring him back bandwagon? I wish him well and hope he helps. I

    Baylor, Stewart, Morales, Paulino, and now Lopez are all gone. Some of you are getting what you’re asking for. The problem is the list is getting shorter and shorter. Who do you focus on now for blame?

    Since some are sick of the 6 vs 8 cylinder analogy I will just use the word team. There have been enough reasons to point fingers all over the place. For both bad and good. Hard to remember but there has been some good.

    We all saw what the Rockies are capable of. Just look back to the 1st two weeks. I am of the opinion that was and SHOULD be the real Rockies. Maybe I’m delusional? Unless they get it together as a team or firing on all 8 cylinders consistently it will be a very long season.

    Strictly my opinion but for me, delusional or otherwise, I am not under the opinion that bringing up EY or the return of Cook will be some secret recipe for success.

  • Cub ex-patriot | May 27, 2011 | 8:30 am

    EY -the saviour no; an upgrade over Lopez (even conceding defensive deficiencies, which as Agbayani suggests, are overrated) absolutely. He has to play 2b. No way he can adequatley cover CF, especially at Coors Field.

    We are all aware changes need to be made. Morales, Paulino and Lopez is the beginning of that process. If results don’t materialize, expect more changes.

    Huston Street may have already lost the closer’s role. IMO, he is prime trade bait.

  • Wayne | May 27, 2011 | 9:08 am

    Mike Raysfan, you make some good points. I think in the beginning we were pointing out deficiencies we would have liked to see corrected in certain players and then that turned into downright blame as the anemic offense continued to sputter and the bullpen imploded a few times. You are right, the list of who to blame is really short now. But the list of players with deficiencies remains long, and other than Helton, Smith, Lindstrom everyone else could perform much better.

    Tracy told Stewart, fish or cut bait. Well I think DOD just did. He cut bait on 3 non-performing and never going to get better pieces. Time for some fresh blood.

  • progmatinee | May 27, 2011 | 9:10 am

    I think EYJ can have a bigger impact to the team than just his individual stats. Should the likes of Tulo and Cargo need essentially a rookie to come in and show them how its done? Probably not, but we didn’t complain when Tulo helped change the Rockies attitude in 06 and 07 or Cargo during the late 09 run…

    Its almost as much about attitude as it is his ability on the field. Thats also why I want Chris Nelson up too. Those guys have an energy that if the team doesn’t get pumped with them on the field then we are in big trouble.

  • edtheump | May 27, 2011 | 9:27 am

    Cub ex-pat…you hit the nail on the head.

    We must keep Fowler in CF and bat him 7th…Iannetta…8th. IMO.

    Let’s give EYJ the Stewart treatment…fish or cut bait, he’s had plenty of opportunities. Start him every game for the next 12(I know that Jonathan sits but we certainly have nothing to lose, except the pennant, I suppose)…there’s a day off in there so he’ll get his rest. All but 3 of those games are on the road where he can take a deep breath and just play without the pressure of the microscopes at home(they’ll be enough microscopes on TV). Let’s see what 50 ABs does for this team.

    I, for one, don’t think he’ll make it, but I’m going to take a proactive approach. I hope I’m laughed at on this site as he “explodes” and propels us into a great June and July. There is absolutely no reason to bring him up to sit on the bench.

    Play Wiggy at third under the same circumstances as EYR…if, when we return home, he is “not cutting it,” then DFA him and let’s get Nelson up here.

    AS MANY posters here point out, we are not as good as it appeared earlier this year.(I, for one, thought we would kick ass.)I’m not one for experimentation(except in the 60′s)two months into the season but I’m afraid we’re going to be “buried” with no way out come the middle of June if something drastic, and I mean DRASTIC, doesn’t change.

    Let’s see what transpires in June. We play sixteen straight games within the division following the Cardinal series. The morning of June 16 will dawn bright and sunny or dank and dark.

    Let’s hope the sun comes out by then.

    Steve…you’re our guru…I know you’re busy with other “stuff” but what is your take on the next couple of weeks.

  • edtheump | May 27, 2011 | 9:32 am

    Oops, not “all but 3 are on the road”…my bad.

  • Bill | May 27, 2011 | 9:38 am

    I’m glad that EY’s here but the question is where to play him. I would play him in left, move Cargo to right and make Seth Smith Mr. Late Night again. EY in left is where his defense will hurt the least and you put your best outfield arm in right which has been down for 100+ years until Jim Tracy decided to change.

    So far the off-season acquisitions haven’t worked well but at least DoD bit the bullet and got rid of two of them fairly quickly. By the way the Denver Post said that Paulino was wildly inconsistent. I disagree he was just bad. To be inconsistent means that you did well sometimes. I can’t remember that he ever did well in a “stress” position.

    I know that Cookie is coming up soon and I hope he can still be a quality starter but I think he’ll pitch well for awhile and then get hurt again. Personally I would put G. Reynolds in as a starter. He’s pitched in 3 or 4 games. He’s pitched well in every one and (I believe) the Rockies have won every one. That is the most important stat in baseball. I know everybody is in love with Mortenson but he has a losing record and pitches just well enough for us to lose.

    Interesting that Lopez was let go after he was Tracy’s choice to pinch hit with two out in the bottom of the 9th. Would a hit have saved his spot? Lot’s of pressure on him, hit or your cut. Actually no pressure because he still will get paid.

    With all these changes they gotta play with more energy, heart and concentration. I love Tulo and I think he will hit his way out of this slump but three plays this week show his head is somewhere else. 1) Getting tossed last week in Milwaukee and then saying “I would do it again), 2) His throw to Giambi a few days ago in that potential DP. Giambi is not Helton – you have to make a better throw and you had plenty of time. No need to rush it and 3)last night on Iannetta’s error. A little more effort and you would have caught the ball and Young would have slid right into the tag. Runner out.

  • Rocky | May 27, 2011 | 9:43 am

    I see the need to keep Jonny in the lineup, but moving him to 3rd is a bit scary. Do you think he has the arm strength for it? I would rather see EY2 in CF. I know what your thinking. That weird and failed experiment in left field when EY was up before. If he has learned to play OF then give him a shot. I can’t see him taking playing time away from Jonny at 2nd though. Otherwise I don’t see him up with this team, or really any N.L team. But, I do like seeing that changes are at least being made.

  • miketober | May 27, 2011 | 9:46 am

    This thread is why I love ITR. What a great, intelligent set of viewpoints and perspectives here. And even those who are not all that excited about EYJ’s return hope to be proved wrong because we all want the same thing.

    I’m torn between two viewpoints. I think 3B is Wiggy’s and it would be crazy to put EYJ in the OF (although I’m sure that’s where he will end up). That leaves 2B. Ed and others may be right to give 2B to EYJ for a couple of weeks and let him sink or swim. The other viewpoint I have is to keep Herrera at 2B and use EYJ in primarily a PH/PR situation. I guess since the team desperately needs a fire lit under its a– I would go with Ed’s plan.

  • NorCal Rockie | May 27, 2011 | 10:12 am

    Nobody is saying anything here, but when an entire lineup of hitters fails to reach potential, actually regressing significantly, a team has to look at common denominators: the hitting coach. I’ve always liked Carney Lansford as a hitter, but, he failed as a hitting coach in San Francisco recently and everyone just figured it was due to lack of talent, but now… another failure (so far at least). I would make a change.

    Also, anyone else agree that the humidor is set too wet? I just get so sick of watching 2-1 games every night at the yard that used to be the funnest in baseball, and made me fall in love with the Rocks! If I wanted boring baseball, I can watch the Giants and A’s struggle 2-1 every game. Turn the damn cigar bunker down halfway and watch our bats explode!

  • progmatinee | May 27, 2011 | 10:21 am

    I’ll be surprised if Carney is back next year, but I’m not sure a change in the middle of the season will accomplish anything at all.

    Also, is there a rule where all you can have is 1 hitting coach? Why not find a “consultant”?

  • Agbayani | May 27, 2011 | 10:40 am

    I didn’t really have a change of heart on EY. Coming into the season my preference for starting 2B — based on what we had — was Lopez, EY, Herrera, Nelson. I expected Nelson to move up if he could handle 2B at the Springs, but they haven’t really tried that. Now with Lopez gone I’d say EY, Emaus, Herrera, Nelson (who still hasn’t learned the position). But hey in an ideal world all of these guys would be bench players at most. Needless to say, our 2B situation remains far from ideal

  • egossage | May 27, 2011 | 11:00 am

    These are MLB hitters. You can’t blame the hitting coach every time our lineup stinks. Last year it was Baylor, this year it’s Lansford. Maybe our lineup is what it is. Not very good. I can tell you right now Dexter should not be hitting in the big leagues. I’ve been saying that since he came up. Slow bat and too long of a swing. It looks like the ball stops his bat when he makes contact. Smith can hit, Helton can hit, I have no idea what is wrong with Tulo, Cargo hit for one year. Was that the real Cargo??? Weird how the pitching is the strength of this team and the offense is it’s weakness. At first pitchers didn’t want to come here because they would get crushed, now they don’t want to come here because they won’t get any offensive support.

  • progmatinee | May 27, 2011 | 11:10 am

    Do you know what my theory is about the hitting and now poor home record? Humidor-gate is true and the team has zero confidence now that its been shut down.

  • Pooter | May 27, 2011 | 11:15 am

    I agree with your Dexter Fowler comment egossage. I think a center fielder either needs to be a Griffey type or a Victorino type. Now that Fowler’s baserunning has gone stagnant he does not really fit into the lineup. I really like Fowler but I also agree that his swing is ugly and does not fit in the lineup. With Eric Young Jr. in CF and Herrera at 2nd you have a person that fits each type of role in the lineup. Then either way you have speed on the bench.

    Think of it this way fellas, the Rockies got rid of a pouty, lame player in Lopez that thought he should play every day but was terrible. His interviews rubbed me wrong and I could see him as the type of player that could drag down a clubhouse. They replaced him with a scrappy player that will do what it takes to help the team.

    Now the Rockies need their so called leaders to step up.

  • Trip | May 27, 2011 | 11:25 am

    Pooter, I think you will soon regret EYj. He does some things very well, and is spectacular doing them. But we don’t really need spectacular. We need someone that can make the routine plays every single time. EYj can not do that.

  • R Dean | May 27, 2011 | 2:31 pm

    EY Jr is the spark the Rox need. Start him @ 2b & lead him off. His speed and enthusiasm will get the team rolling & put pressure on pitchers and the defense.
    Fowler will never be a lead off hitter. He strikes out too much, never walks and has a horrible OBP Why Micro Manager Tracy took 2 months to figure that out is amazing.

  • progmatinee | May 27, 2011 | 3:22 pm

    I’ll disagree Trip. If the main goal is to jumpstart the rest of the team, I don’t think a team full of underachievers can be jump started by “Mr. Consistency”. Helton and Herrera aren’t exactly pumping energy into team and they are models of consistency and “doing the routine” or whatever.

    I think they need a guy thats gonna be exciting, even if that means a mistake once in a while.

  • Rocky | May 27, 2011 | 3:32 pm

    I agree Prog. Calling Eric Byrnes, we have a uniform for you.