There was a time when Jose Lopez was supposed to explode into greatness at any moment. Unfortunately a lot of that hype was based on his performance in the 2009 World Baseball Classic in which he slugged .917. Sample size alarms were sounding and Lopez put forth another league average year after that, followed by several that were well below average. The result is a player whose name you hear mentioned periodically and think, “oh he still plays?” even though the “he” in question is only 28 years old.
Expect to hear the name Jose Lopez mentioned a bit more frequently in the coming weeks. The White Sox have inked Lopez to a minor league contract after the infielder was released from the Indians on August 12. In fact, no sooner than his name was mentioned in the White Sox game broadcast did Orlando Hudson foul a ball hard off of his foot, leaving the game to head to the hospital for x-rays. Infield depth is an issue for the White Sox and Kenny Williams is riding a Midas streak for 2012 acquisitions. The last former major leaguer he signed to a minor league contract, Dewayne Wise, has arguably been responsible for the back-to-back wins in Toronto, an achievement the White Sox haven’t accomplished in over 6 years.
I was definitely one of the people that hoped and expected Jose Lopez to explode into an above average major leaguer. It’s not likely he ever will at this point (just ask Melky Cabrera), but he stands a pretty good chance of helping the White Sox pursue the division title they’ve got their eye on.
In Lopez’s 2012 season with Cleveland that earned him a roster cut consisted of a .249/.272/.366 line in 224 plate appearances.