Twice a 15-game winner for the Orioles, and once an 18-game loser, Rodrigo Lopez has returned to the majors in 2009 as a starter for the Phillies. His job may not last long, if Pedro Martinez gets healthy and stretched out quickly. For now, he's in the Phillies rotation and set to make his third start of the season against the Cubs on Monday.
Lopez throws four pitches, a four-seam fastball (F4), a two-seam fastball (more tail than sink, F2), a slider (SL) and a change-up (CH).
In the spin movement graph, I've included dots for the league average for three of his pitches.
Lopez' slider has a decent amount of movement, sinking more than the average righty's slider. It is a little slurvey in that regard. He doesn't get too much movement on his fastballs, but he throws the two-seamer more often, maximizing what movement his does get.
Flight paths show almost no vertical difference between the fastballs (1st base view).
With just two starts in 2009 and a single outing from 2007, this next set of graphs will be a bit noisy.
Lopez throws a lot of strikes (except with the four-seam fastball) and seems to get a lot of called strikes. The whiff rate on the change-up is simply awful, that's not even good for a fastball. His best pitch for missing bats, the slider, is not very tough, relative to other sliders.
Good two-seamer, so-so slider and change-up, poor fastball. Lopez does seem to be able to put it all together, but he doesn't look like a pitcher that can afford to fall behind.