So, the season is looking as if its over, and we need to have some reason to keep us somewhat invested in each game. I think that USS Mariners brought up a great point of watching for Ian Snell and that's where alot of people are turning their attention.
I am as well excited for Mr.Snell's first start and to see how he does. However, i will be turning my attention to another player Mr. Jose Lopez. Lopez while starting to show more and more offensive capabilities is an interesting situation. Most scouts see Lopez diminishing capabilities at second base. His lack of range will eventuall push him to a corner position and while there will still be some questions about his defense the bigger question still will be his bat.
This year he has managed to procure a UZR of 0.8 and Frar of -2.0 while not fabulous its about as average or just below average as your going to get.
Jack Zduriencik realizes the situation and has already been connected in several deals to aquire a better second basemen. Ben Zorbist this off season had been reportedly connected in several deals, Rickie Weeks from Jacks prior organization has also been in the mix and of course prior to being delt to San Fran everyone was wanting to get Freddy Sanchez. However with all these deals no one has conciously put together Jose Lopez is going to be replaced.
Of course everyone will point to the fact that Jose has been one of the best hitters for the very weak line up. He has been effective hitting a wOBA of .329 up to this point and a solid slugging percentage .463 which places him near the top of the league for second basemens.
However when comparing him with those other second basemen's in the Majors he ranks in the middle tier of wOBA ... mainly because he is last in BB% he like his former double play partner swings at everything... and while being a good contact hitter (7% higher than the rest of the league) only has a BABIP of .271
Fan graphs did a post in late june about the need for seattle to upgrade its middle infield defensively
This offseason is going to come and i would be really surprised if Aidrian Beltre resigns to play 3b but ill be equally surprised if Jose Lopez is here after next year. He may stay as an insurence to Matt Tuiasosopo to make sure he is ready for the daily job at third.
It would be nice to make a move here and bring in either a stop gap while we wait for Carlos Triunfel to take 2b or pick up someone from another system. This off season Jose Lopez has more value than he ever has.