When the Philadelphia Phillies signed Morelos native Rodrigo Lopez to a minor league contract in March, expectations weren’t high. After all, Lopez had undergone Tommy John surgery in August 2007 and spent last year in the Atlanta Braves organization on rehab assignment pitching in the low minors. Lopez was released by the Braves last November and signed with the World Champions four months later.
The 33-year-old righty began this season with Lehigh Valley of the Class AAA International League and went 5-4 with a 3.91 ERA before being called up to Philly last month when Brett Myers went on the 60-day disabled list. He won his first start, 7-2, over the New York Mets by pitching 6.1 innings and letting in two runs on six hits. Although Phillies manager Charlie Manuel has recently moved Lopez to the bullpen, he is 3-1 with a 3.99 ERA for the club in six appearances thus far.
For his major league career, Lopez is 68-66 with a 4.78 ERA. He pitched for Mexico in both the 2006 and 2009 World Baseball Classics.