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.