The Cardinals appear to be the frontrunner to sign Felipe Lopez. According to SI’s Jon Heyman’s best guess, the versatile infielder will stroll through the Gateway soon. It would be his second time in St. Louis after spending the second half of 2008 with the Cards. As mentioned earlier here at Redbird Rants, Lopez was impressive in St. Louis, hitting .385. His success continued in 2009, hitting .310. Now, he needs a new home again.
Lopez would be a perfect fit for the Cardinals, filling the need at third if David Freese can’t handle the heat. He was an all-star shortstop in 2005 and can play the outfield, too. That versatility is invaluable in the unpredictable baseball season. He provides insurance all throughout the diamond defensively and adds depth to the lineup.
The versatility in the field carries over to the batter’s box, too. Lopez is a switch hitter that can bat leadoff. He provides another option at the top to go with Skip Schumaker, a left-handed hitter. Against a left-handed pitcher, Schumaker can slide down the lineup to break up the many right-handed bats, and Lopez can man the top spot. In other situations, Lopez can be the change of pace at the bottom. The possibilities are endless with Lopez.
He is another contact hitter to set the table for the power guys, putting the ball in play and working pitch counts. It’s time that St. Louis adds a Jack to the 2010 deck — a Jack of all trades.
Cards fans should be watching closely as Lopez could be signed and on his way at any point this week. The Reds were also in the hunt for Lopez, but signed Orlando Cabrera instead. Heyman predicted Cabrera would sign with Cincinnati too. Spring Training is closing in on us and it will be baseball season once again!