Saturday, December 19, 2009


The Culiacan Tomateros have activated major league veteran pitcher Rodrigo Lopez, who spent part of the past summer with the National League champion Philadelphia Phillies.

Lopez was signed out of the Mexican League as a 19-year-old by San Diego in 1995 and worked his way up to the big club, making his big league debut with the Padres in 2000. After becoming a free agent following the 2001 season, Lopez signed on with the Baltimore Orioles, for whom he went 15-9 and was runner up in American League Rookie of the Year balloting in 2002. He won 36 more games for Baltimore over the next three seasons, but was eventually traded to Colorado in 2007. In August of that season, the Veracruz native underwent Tommy John surgery and later became a free agent.

He inked a minor league deal with the Phillies last March and eventually was called up from Class AAA Lehigh Valley to Philadelphia on July 3, starting against and beating the New York Mets, 7-2, that same night for his first big league win in nearly two years. Lopez, who has a 68-66 MLB career record, was released by the Phils in September.

After going 1-2 with a 4.55 ERA for Culiacan last season, Lopez has won both times he’s pitched this winter thus far.

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