Phils Make First Splash: Trade for Wilton Lopez

Posted: November 28, 2012 in Uncategorized

ImageI would not expect most of our readers to know who Wilton Lopez is. The 29-year-old Nicaraguan has spent his entire four year career toiling in the basement of the NL Central with the Houston Astros. However, the 6’0 right-hander was one of the few bright spots in Houston during that time.

According to CBSSports.com’s Jon Heyman, the Astros have traded Lopez to the Phillies in exchange for minor leaguers. The terms of the deal are still being discussed.

In 66.1 innings in 2012, Lopez went 6-3 with a 2.17 ERA. Even more impressive was his K:BB ratio. The right-hander struck out 54 batters whilst walking just 8. His 10 saves were second on the team to former Phillie Brett Myers. Over his career dating back to 2009, Lopez has a 4.33:1 strikeout to walk ratio. If there’s one thing that the Phillies needed to drastically improve, it was the bullpen in front of Jonathan Papelbon. This minor move certainly boosts that element.

Lopez, who has pitched over 65 innings each of the last three seasons without an ERA over 3.00, should fit in nicely in Philadelphia. He was originally an amateur signing of the New York Yankees before moving to San Diego in 2007. In 2009, he was claimed off waivers by the Astros from the Padres.

Lopez is your classic fastball, slider, change-up right-hander. He will throw the fastball about 76% of the time followed by the change-up (17%), and his slider (7%). He is arbitration eligible for the first time and is expected to make about $1.5 million in 2013.

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