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While I joked about it in today’s Enhanced Box Score, I wasn’t totally joking: newly-acquired swingman Rodrigo Lopez will be joining the Chicago Cubs’ rotation on Monday against the Astros.

If you hadn’t figured this was in the plans since he joined the team earlier today, Casey Coleman’s relief appearance should have sealed it in your mind.

While he’s no savior, there is reason to believe Lopez can at least out-pitch Casey Coleman (though, given his alternating good/bad starts, the Cubs probably should have waited one more start since he was terrible last time out) or James Russell, if not Doug Davis, too. If you want a complete rundown on the merits of Lopez as a starter, there’s a pretty spirited debate on the subject in the acquisition post.

Ultimately, Lopez will be competing with Doug Davis to remain in the rotation when Matt Garza returns, hopefully for his next turn in the rotation. If that’s the case, Lopez may have only one opportunity to shine before that decision must be made. What better team to face in such a situation, though, than the Astros?Then again, if he dominates one of the worst lineups in baseball, what will we know, really? I suppose we’d know more if he was knocked around in a James Russell-like fashion.

  • http://twitter.com/thomaswconroy TWC

    That sound you hear is Joey’s head exploding.

    • miggy80

      You called it, geesh

  • Joey

    Russell – 79.2 IP, 5.31 ERA, 1.42 WHIP, 2.0 HR/9, 2.0 BB/9, 6.7 K/9, 10.7 H/9, .301 BAbip, 81 ERA+, 5.35 tERA (career)

    Lopez – 498 IP, 5.29 ERA, 1.47 WHIP, 1.5 HR/9 2.7 BB/9, 5.7 K/9, 10.6 H/9, .307 BAbip, 84 ERA+, 5.51 tERA (5 year, from 06-10)

    Weeeeeee, I cant wait! Now we will officially have not one, but *TWO* Russell’s on the club at the same time!!! I have a tingly feeling in my leg…

    Anyway, its a bit of a strange change of events such a short time after Quade told Carrie Lopez was headed to the Pen. I wonder if Hendry forced Mikes hand on this one.

    • Ace

      Your comparison of Lopez and Russell is so disingenuous (see my comments in the other post): Russell as a starter – 9.33 ERA in 18.1 innings pitched, 2.018 WHIP, etc. Russell as a reliever – 4.11 ERA in 61.1 innings pitched, 1.239 WHIP, etc.

      Looking at Russell’s total numbers is completely meaningless. Look at his numbers as a starter and compare them to Lopez, then we can talk about “upgrades.”

      • Joey

        and your argument is disingenuous because you are using Russell’s numbers from his playing in front of one of the statistically worst D’s in the game playing in a park which inflates HR.

        Conveniently, you just blatantly ignore the fact that Lopez (who already has extreme issues with HRs and puts almost everything into play) will be affected by these things just like Russell has to this point. But no matter how much you want to try to convince yourself otherwise, Russell’s minor league numbers are extremely similar to those of Lopez as well.

        • Ace

          Wrong. Why are Russell’s numbers as a reliever – in front of that same defense and ballpark – so much better than as a starter?

          Please stop ignoring this point and concede that giving Lopez a chance to start once makes more sense than throwing Russell out there for the sixth time.

          (color me shocked when you now do not concede this unbelievably obvious point)

          • Joey

            uh, so we should count Russell’s 3 inning outings in relief differently then his 3 inning outings starting and instead grade him completely on a merely F*ing 18 innings as a starter? I cant even begin to comprehend how that makes sense to you…

            But no, I will never say that replacing absolute shit by trading for absolute shit with almost identical numbers across the board in both the majors and minors is somehow a good idea. Its like saying “just say this can of Pepsi in my hand is better then the can of Pepsi in your hand because I specifically went out and got this one to replace that one” – in other words, huh?

            • Ace

              “so we should count Russell’s 3 inning outings in relief differently then his 3 inning outings starting” – Yes. He obviously does.

              I guess we’re done, then. I appreciate you at least taking the question on directly. Let the record reflect that, in the interest of holding to your position, you have stated for all of history to remember that you do not think starting Rodrigo Lopez on Monday is a better idea than starting James Russell for a sixth time, the five prior starts being five of the worst in the history of man.

              • Joey

                I’m sorry, but I just cant understand how you see that as a serious question. We are talking about such a microscopic amount of playing time over a 3 week span his season. Bad month maybe? Or maybe it has something to do with this fact

                April 1 – relief
                April 5 – relief
                April 12 – start
                April 15 – relief
                April 16 – relief
                April 20 – start
                April 26 – start
                May 2 – star
                May 7 – relief

                Its not like he was really ever given a starters job – it was pretty much, “well, we’ll let you start this week” randomly…

                “Let the record reflect that, in the interest of holding to your position, you have stated for all of history to remember that you do not think starting Rodrigo Lopez on Monday is a better idea than starting James Russell for a sixth time, the five prior starts being five of the worst in the history of man.”

                - and that’s the type of thing that makes me feel you are just somehow, oddly, intimidated by me or something. What a strange, strange, strange thing to say – isn’t this a discussion board and not a frat house where we need to make everything into a game of bragging-rights bets?

                What difference does it really make to you that I say that? I mean, so if Lopez craps his pants and Russell has to bail him out in relief, do I gain the rights to the site or something? Or is it just the seemingly imaginary competition with me you apparently have going on in your head?

                • Ace

                  “‘Let the record reflect that, in the interest of holding to your position, you have stated for all of history to remember that you do not think starting Rodrigo Lopez on Monday is a better idea than starting James Russell for a sixth time, the five prior starts being five of the worst in the history of man.’

                  - and that’s the type of thing that makes me feel you are just somehow, oddly, intimidated by me or something. What a strange, strange, strange thing to say – isn’t this a discussion board and not a frat house where we need to make everything into a game of bragging-rights bets?”

                  Not only did that crack me up, but it also allowed me to post it again (for all of history). The fact that you couldn’t see the humor in my comment is a nice bookend to the fundamental “discussion problem” we’re having. You appear to be taking yourself (and me) far too seriously in a discussion about the relative merits of James Russell and Rodrigo Lopez. Don’t get me wrong, I’m right about it, but it’s not worth a hernia. Russell has showed me, for this year, everything he needs to show me that he can’t start. You disagree. Fine. It’s unfathomable to me, but I’ll be ok.

                  I just tried to engage in the discussion, Joey. I’ve been doing this for a long time and engaging readers is an important part of the gig. Disagreeing doesn’t mean I’m intimidated (“strange” that you keep bringing that up…). It means I’m trying.

                  Sorry you can’t see that. Hope you keep being you. I’ll keep being me.

                  • Joey

                    In all honestly man, I would like you to read this without thinking I am just trying to attack you or whatever

                    “don’t appreciate the derision” (when really, there wasn’t any – it was really an innocent playful post, not aggressive)

                    “And, for the record, you will find that my…” (to something I never commented on, at all – it was an aspect you brought way out of left field as if you needed to somehow defend your article against a completely non-existent attack that was never even hinted at to begin with)

                    nearly 2 hours before I replied to that very first post of yours another poster provided “Not to weigh in on the Joey/Ace debate”. It was already obvious there was some kind of tension – and I hadn’t done anything other then post once with things you took way out of context and replied to with defensive stances.

                    After those responses to me right off the bat (which I reassured wasn’t the case, at all), things were still fine – I detailed how horrible Lopez actually is and stated that the only real aspect you had first argued against was honestly pretty much besides the point because the move, no matter the schematics, is just Hendry following a track record of really questionable transactions in my mind. If you read my posts again, you will actually realize that was always my true main point – Hendry and his inexcusable reactionary decisions.

                    At this time, TWC jumped in with what he later admitted were just smart ass remarks to “bust on (me)”, and although I initially took a bit of issue after already feeling a bit strange off your first post, he eventually explained he was pulling my chain and that was it – it was over, everything was fine.

                    You instead started changing the argument though – it went from my talking about Jim’s pitiful moves and how absolutely horrific Lopez is, to the sidetrack aspect of comparing him to Berg. After I reiterated a couple times it really had little to do with Berg and outlined the 5 year stats showing Lopez to be one of the absolute worst starters in the game, you decided to instead compare him to Russell and Coleman. Then when I detailed how closely the stats match on all of Coleman, Russell and Lopez, it went to trying to dismiss or downplay their stats while simultaneously ignoring that Lopez is going to be facing a step change in front our our D and playing in Wrigley

                    That’s also when statements like “Until you can concede…”, “you’ve already agreed…” (when I hadn’t said anything remotely close to what you surmised), “I’d ask you to consider why each time you…” and a bunch of all-caps words started to creep into play – on a conversation which was already way off point and degraded to arguing microscopic schematics where it increasingly seemed to me your only real goal was to argue anything I said, no matter what it is.

                    Now granted, I’ll admit I was a bit sarcastic in some of those later posts – but is that a reason to take a rather straight forward conversation into the realm of the weird arguing every minute aspect of anything I say? And it should be mentioned that before I began getting sarcastic, something else happened…

                    You specifically make mention of our “spirited debate” in this thread (again, this was at a time when the other discussion hadn’t even gotten there yet – it was prior to my replying to your Coleman/Russell topic change; which was the first time I really got sarcastic), and when I posted my clearly sarcastic “excitement” over having basically two Russell’s here, you decided to bring your replies into both threads – as if you just couldn’t let anything I said go without arguing against it.

                    Why? Why was it so important to keep it going? You’ve questioned everything I have said, and I’ve explained it all – in detail, with stats to back it up. So why keep changing the questions?

                    And I am dead serious in asking this – what is the ultimate goal you have?

                    Every question you have asked I have been able to answer – so what are you really trying to do in just creating different questions? Am I not allowed to say Hendry is an idiot with a track record of this? Am I not allowed to point out the fact that Lopez has been one of the worst pitchers in the game? Am I not allowed to question a Lopez acquisition against countless internal options we already had? Am I not allowed to show that his stats match those of Coleman and Russell? Is it just that I must feel as though (or at least “concede”) Lopez is somehow a better option then each and every other pitcher in our entire system to have this end – even if I don’t believe it?

                    Yet after you make me answer for all these ever-changing questions and explain everything I provide, you go as far as alluding to my having some kind of issue because this happens only with me? And then, despite all that, well all of a sudden I am supposed to recognize when you are apparently going from implying something is wrong with me to trying to make a joke on something that honestly really just colorfully combines many of your previous quotes?

                    Look, sincerely, you asked me why I am the only person this happens with and I really believe the response I provided is probably at at least some of its root – and I don’t mean that as an attack, please just think about what I am saying. Think about it to yourself, does anyone else provide as thorough posts with detailed stats to back up what they are saying? I think I am one of very few (if not the only) who really does, and I kind of think maybe that’s possibly where this comes from – and again, just please hear me out.

                    Most posts here seem to be pretty lighthearted – and while mine will often be similar on the surface, I generally don’t say things without having at least something deeper to back them up. You do try to reply to most posts to the site; but on a post that is probably a bit detailed to begin with, that may lead to questioning aspects of it. And since I almost certainly already have at least something more to back up what I say, my response will probably be at least fairly strong.

                    I think it might boil down to a bit of the “you always have an answer for everything” aspect – it can be frustrating and sometimes intimidating when coming across such a person in real life; but what about on a message board with a person who wouldn’t be saying anything to begin with if they didn’t think it through to be able to have such answers? Should I just not answer any questions presented to an initial statement? Yet when I do here, you seem to just come up with different questions. So what happens when I can answer those too? Just even more new questions…

                    Again, this conversation went from Hendry is horrible and Lopez sucks, to your defending your article, to Lopez verses Berg, to just how bad Lopez statistically sucks against the rest of the league, to Lopez verses Coleman and Russell, to your most recently completely dissecting Russell’s into a little 18 inning sample while he was clearly jerked around by the team – all to do what, get me to admit one piece of sh!t is somehow arguably ever so slightly better then each and every other piece of sh!t in our entire system even if I don’t agree with it?

                    That cant be from me – it cant really have all that much to do with anything I am doing. It has to be something you personally have with me because no matter what, you are proving that anything I say will be questioned no matter how far it goes. If you tell me what your real point or ultimate goal is, then maybe things can go a bit smoother – but as it stands, I have zero idea what will satisfy your desired, unstated outcome and instead will be forced into continuing to answer whatever questions you throw out next no matter how far off the initial point they become.

                    • Dan0mite

                      I’m drunk and this back and forth is boring. I mean who honestly cares? Can’t we all agree I am a booze hound and mke fun of me for being a drunk? That way you two can stop dragging down the site. I still love you Ace.

                    • Ace

                      You’re a drunk and you should post more often when drunk.

                    • Ace

                      Remember when I said you were taking this too seriously? QED.

                      Literally every one of your rhetorical questions could be asked right back at you. What is *your* ultimate goal, Joey? I’ve already explained mine – a discussion. I’m sorry if you’d rather I saw one of your 14-page comments and simply bowed my head.

                      The only point I’ve ever made – and, despite your efforts to create the appearance of “ever-changing questions,” it remains the same – is that getting Lopez for the purposes of starting him rather than the cadre of ridiculous options that have already proved crappy is a fine decision. That you disagree with that point is both clear and ridiculous.

                      There is no “desired outcome” in this discussion. It’s just a discussion. I tried to end it pleasantly by suggesting that we each just move one. *You* continued it. I have no issue with you Joey other than your apparent need to fling poo, and then act like a victim when you have poop on your hands.

                      Either way, I think we should wrap this up. It ran its course as useful discussion about the Cubs long, long ago.

        • Ace

          Separately, I’d ask you to consider why each time you engage in an impassioned back and forth, it devolves into this kind of shit. It happens with no one else. Just something to think about. There’s a method to Internet discourse – it doesn’t have to be this way.

          • TWC

            The “method to Internet discourse” being, of course, Godwin’s Law, right?

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin's_law

            • Ace

              I’m open to any and all logical fallacies, mind you.

              • TWC

                *heh*

          • Joey

            because you responded in a hypersensitive manor and somehow took my extremely non-aggressive first post personally; which resulted in you posting that I was mocking you, before ending up getting another person to play smartass on it as well.

            I mean, just a thought – but I sure don’t have problems with other people either. Do I somehow threaten you or something? Because its almost like no matter what I say, you just have to argue against it or respond defensively. It’s really strange to me…

            • Ace

              I’d respond, but I’d just be defending myself – which, as we both know, is just me admitting that (1) I’m the aggressor, (2) I’m threatened, and (3) I’m defensive. And, assuming it continued from there the direction it’s going, I should admit right now: I don’t have a ruler handy.

              It’s just the Cubs, dude. It’s not like it’s Nazi Germany.

              • Joey

                no need to respond – your “let the record show” line above did it for you…

                • miggy80

                  Dam Joey what’s your problem? If your in a slump do like Mark Grace used to do go get yourself a fatty a “slump buster” then you will have less of a desire to over analyze

  • Ron

    Hey Joey, look at Sean Marshals lines as a starter and reliever and tell me there is not a difference. If you looked at straight numbers he would be the number 3 guy. Why then does he pitch out of the pen? The tried using your logic for three years.

    • Joey

      So Marshall pitching multiple innings when he was a 23-24 year old rookie is somehow comparable to his pitching 1 inning at the age of 27-28?

      • Ron

        No, Marshal played the swingman role sorta like Russell for 2-3 years. Marshal was still being discussed as a starter the year before last. With even a mention this year. He would be more valuable as a starter if it worked for him.

        • Joey

          yeah, and there will probably always be the question of his possibly being more valuable as a starter at this point.

          But that didn’t hit my real question. While you are correct that he was a spot starter making completely random starts like Russell in 2008, he pitched really consistently in both roles that year and would have done about the same in 2009 if not for the one horrific start against the Dodgers in his final start.

  • Dan0mite

    Coleman was optioned to Iowa today. I wonder whole will be the 5th starter when Garza comes back?

    • Ace

      I suspect Lopez and Davis will be dueling for that job in their respective starts this week (assuming Garza misses just one more start and a meteorite doesn’t strike Z or Dempster).

  • Ron

    Is that the 1930′s Natzi or the 1940′s?

    • Ace

      Don’t they both kind of suck?

      (and just to confirm to those who didn’t click on the link TWC posted, my Nazi comment was a joke)

      • Ron

        They do, I was just reiterating the obsurdity of the argument. It is entertaining though.

    • miggy80

      If you ask my Grandma, who was a civilian in Latvia, she would tell you 40′s Nazi’s were way worse!

      (this is the truth but said Jokingly, so Joey don’t take me seriously and bring in all sorts of comparisons about how the 30′s Nazi’s were worse I’m going to take her word for it)

  • PFK

    Reading the Joey/Ace discourse was hilarious. Man, do I love the smell of Bleacher Nation in the morning!

    • Ace

      And it was all an elaborately orchestrated stage play, constructed for your entertainment! Win!

    • http://www.frenchrocks.net Ian Afterbirth

      I gotta agree with PFK – SO many places I wanted to jump and be a smart ass!
      Thank goodness I have a wee bit of self control!

  • pfk

    Stay tuned for “Blogomania II” where they both enter the blog through fake smoke and Vince McMahon bellows, “Let get ready to bloooooooog?”

  • http://calebshreves.blogspot.com Caleb

    That was the least funny argument ever.

    Joey needs to get laid.

    It’s simple, really. Russell sucks when he starts. So ANY alternative is at least worth a shot. I’m talking, let Vince Vaugn start- he played some little league. Draw random names from the crowd. Use a pitching machine. Call in the kid from “Rookie of the Year.” Have Greg Maddux throw a few innings. Let Donald Trump just stand on the mound and intimidate batters with his stare until the umps call the game. Bring up hot chicks to pitch to each batter so we at least have something to look at while we lose. Bring back the “Eck.”

    If the choices are A) Russell again, or B) Other, I’ll choose B every time.

    Plus he has success in relief so why mess with that? My suggestion (in a different comment) was to ostensibly “start” Jeff Samardzzdididzzia and bring in Russell for innings 2-5. That way he thinks he’s relieving.

    Could be just crazy enough to work.

  • Michigan Goat

    Wow, that was fun to read

  • joey shut up

    joey is an idiot enough said.

    • http://Bleachernation Bric

      What are you talking about? This guy’s a genius! I read every word of all of his posts. Really. Except for his and Ace’s disagreement about which Nazis were better- the 30′s or 40′s. You’re both wrong. The Nazis of the 50′s had a way better line up.
      BTW, Ace, I think you should end every one of your responses to us readers with the words “You jackass”.
      Example: “Bric, that’s a good point you make about why the Cubs should fire Hendry, you jackass.”
      That way we’d know if you’re being aggressive.

      • Ace

        I’m going to run you over with my car, you jackass.

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