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Jose Lopez Is Responsible


Sojo is familiar with many young Mariners as he manages the Lara team that the M's send players to in winter ball. Jose Lopez elects to play winter ball every year on his own and showed up at camp this year noticeably heavier. Lopez told me that he got bigger so he would have more power.

Being bigger, wanting to hit for power made me thing that he was looking more like a first baseman than a middle infielder.

If you're a middle infielder, and there are already a lot of people questioning your mobility, it probably isn't the best idea to go out and gain weight. I get what Lopez is trying to do, and his heart's in the right place, but I'm just not a fan of the execution. We can be pretty certain that the added bulk will take a toll on Lopez's already modest range. How can we be sure that it'll make up for that loss by improving his productivity at the plate? It's not like power has been the thing holding Lopez back. More muscle isn't going to make him any better at identifying different pitches.

We'll see. I'm going to try to give him the benefit of the doubt, but he doesn't come off looking so hot in Baker's shuttle run video, and the last time one of our middle infielders bulked up, his offense stayed the same while his defense went to shit. So I think you can understand my concern. We already have one problem up the middle. We don't really need another.