Rodrigo Lopez turned out to be a contributor to the 2009 Phillies team that went to the World Series. With a 3-1 record in five starts and seven appearances, Lopez pitched into the sixth inning in four straight outings during July of that season.
No, the numbers don't pop off the page for Lopez in 2009, but the Phillies won each of those first four starts.
"He's a good competitor. He knows what he's doing out there." pitching coach Rich Dubee told reporters about Lopez.
Lopez also was on the same pitching staff as Aaron Cook, another vet vying for a spot with the Phillies, during the 2007 season. The difference was that Lopez was a contributing piece to the 2007 National League champion Rockies while Cook was a main cog.
Like Lopez, Cook isn't going to bedazzle anyone with gaudy stats, but he has a knack for getting outs quickly with his sinker.
Dubee says he expects Lopez and Cook to play roles with the 2013 Phillies. Both pitchers could see their value skyrocket if it turns out that Roy Halladay has an injury.
"They're valuable pieces," Dubee told reporters. "Right now, they're not there, but they're in the picture for sure. We expect if we have an issue or something, those guys will be mentioned for sure."
Cook and Lopez will both be in action on Monday in Orlando to pitch against the Braves. Here's the rest of the Phillies lineup:1.) Ben Revere, cf
2.) Kevin Frandsen, 2b
3.) Michael Young, 3b
4.) Ryan Howard, 1b
5.) Dom Brown, rf
6.) Darin Ruf, lf
7.) Yuniesky Betancourt, ss
8.) Humberto Quintero, c
9.) Rodrigo Lopez, p