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Lopez was traded from the Baltimore Orioles to Boston on Friday, a deal that gives the former All-Star another chance to play and provides the Red Sox a replacement for injured catcher Jason Varitek. The Orioles sent Lopez and cash to the Red Sox for a player to be named.
The Baltimore Orioles placed Lopez on the 15-day disabled list Friday with a back strain. Baltimore's primary designated hitter and backup catcher has not played since April 27 after experiencing back spasms that led to the strain. Lopez is batting .221 with one home run and eight RBIs.
Lopez, who sat out Orioles games on Saturday and Sunday with back spasms, is out again Monday in Baltimore's series opener against Toronto at home. It was thought Lopez might return against the Jays, but he is not in the lineup and remains day-to-day.
A few days after saying Lopez would be his opening day first baseman, Baltimore manager Sam Perlozzo has changed his mind. The Orioles have temporarily halted Lopez's conversion to first, and the veteran catcher will serve as Baltimore's designated hitter for the time being.
Baltimore manager Sam Perlozzo told the Baltimore Sun Sunday that Lopez will be the Orioles' first baseman on opening day. The veteran catcher has been working behind the plate as well as learning a new position this spring, and Perlozzo said he will allow Lopez to continue his on-the-job training at first when the season starts.
Lopez went 3-for-3 with a game-winning two-run homer in the Orioles' 2-0 win over the Los Angeles Angels Thursday.
Out of Baltimore's lineup with a broken hand since May 24, Lopez is expected to be activated from the disabled list on Monday, before the Orioles host the Texas Rangers in the opener of a four-game set. The Orioles' catcher was behind the plate Sunday at Double-A Bowie, and both the catcher and Bowie manager Don Werner said that Lopez was good to go.
Lopez is off to Double-A Bowie to begin a minor league rehab assignment. The Orioles' catcher is expected to play four games in the minors. At that point, Lopez probably would rejoin his Baltimore teammates if he doesn't suffer a setback. He could be activated from the disabled list as soon as Monday, when the Orioles will host Texas.
Out with a broken hand since May 24, Lopez could start a minor league rehab assignment by the weekend. The Orioles would like their starting catcher to get roughly 25 at-bats in the minors, so Lopez could be returning to the Baltimore lineup within the next two weeks.
Lopez admitted that he's not yet back to 100 percent, but he reported no discomfort in his hand after taking batting practice over the weekend. The Orioles' starting catcher has been out since breaking the fifth metacarpal bone in his right hand on May 24, and he's not expected to return to action for at least another week.
Lopez took live batting practice on Tuesday and is getting closer to starting a minor league rehab assignment. The Orioles' starting catcher has been out since breaking the fifth metacarpal bone in his right hand on May 24. Surgery to place a stabilizing plate in the hand has allowed the injury to heal quickly.
After an evaluation by hand specialist Dr. Mark Deitch, Lopez was cleared to begin baseball activities. The Orioles' catcher hit soft-toss balls in the batting cage on Tuesday and said he experienced minimal pain in his surgically repaired hand. Lopez has not played since breaking the fifth metacarpal bone in his right hand on May 24. He had surgery to place a stabilizing plate in the hand, and the hand has healed well.
Lopez will have surgery Thursday on the broken right hand he suffered in Baltimore's win over Seattle on Tuesday. The procedure to repair a broken fifth metacarpal bone in the hand will help quicken the healing process. Still, the Orioles' catcher could be out for as long as two months. Lopez should begin motion work with his hand three weeks after the surgery. It will be three more weeks before Lopez can resume baseball-related activities.
The pennant hopes of the Baltimore Orioles took a hit Tuesday night, when Lopez was lost for about six weeks with a broken bone in his right hand. The Orioles' catcher was hit by a foul tip on his throwing hand. The Orioles lost their catcher the same day Sammy Sosa returned to the lineup after missing three weeks with a staph infection on the bottom of his left foot.
The pennant hopes of the Baltimore Orioles took a hit Tuesday night, when Lopez was lost for about six weeks with a broken bone in his right hand. The Orioles' catcher, who will be placed on the 15-day disabled list, was hit by a foul tip on his throwing hand. The Orioles lost their catcher the same day Sammy Sosa returned to the lineup after missing three weeks with a staph infection on the bottom of his left foot.
Lopez sprained his right thumb while taking a swing in a game on May 11, and the digit continues to bother the Orioles' catcher. It's likely the injury has contributed to Lopez' mini-slump of recent days. Since the game he was injured, he has gone 1-for-21 (.048) without an extra-base hit or RBI. He's also fanned seven times during his skid.
Although he was not 100 percent, Lopez returned to the Orioles' lineup for Wednesday's game against Oakland A's, going 0-for-4. The veteran catcher, who left Monday's season opener with discomfort in his lower back, said he plans to play through the pain.
Since Lopez has battled back problems in the past, this obviously is a concern. Reportedly, he will chance the way he prepares for games in hopes of taking some stress of his back. In 150 games in 2004, he batted .316 with 23 home runs and 86 RBI.
Following Monday's victory over the Oakland A's, Lopez indicated that the back problem that forced him to leave in the seventh inning was not a huge concern. The veteran catcher, who has battled back ailments in the past, plans to receive treatment on the Orioles' off-day on Tuesday and return to the lineup for Wednesday's action. Geronimo Gil filled the void behind the plate after Lopez' departure.
At this point, Lopez' injury appears minor, but considering his history of back problems, it is something to keep an eye on. For now, consider Lopez as day-to-day. In 150 games in 2004, he batted .316 with 23 home runs and 86 RBI.
Lopez left in the seventh inning of Monday's Opening Day victory over the Oakland A's, due to pain in his back. The catcher, who was replaced in the Orioles' lineup by Geronimo Gil, will be re-evaluated on Tuesday.
Lopez missed some time late last season because of back problems. The Orioles are off on Tuesday, giving him some time to rest. For now, consider Lopez as day-to-day. In 150 games in 2004, he batted .316 with 23 home runs and 86 RBI.