Lopez gets extra work in on defense
Infielder tries to improve positioning, cut down on errors
SEATTLE -- It was four hours before the first pitch of Tuesday night's game against the Red Sox, and Mariners second baseman Jose Lopez was working up a sweat, chasing ground balls hit to his right, left and others directly at him."He asked me yesterday if he could come out early and take some ground balls," third-base/infield coach Sam Perlozzo said. "You can get out of kilter, and he thought he was getting that way, so he asked for some extra work." Lopez has committed six errors in 245 total chances this season, compared to just eight in 711 fielding chances last season, which is reason enough to ask for more work. "When we came out of Spring Training, he was keeping his back end down, and I think he was getting away from that a little," Perlozzo said. "He wants to make sure he's in good position again, and that's one of the things we worked on today." Lopez has developed a tendency to play balls hit to his left off to the side, rather than run to where the ball is hit and get in front of it. "The second baseman has the luxury of being able to knock the ball down and still recover in time to get the runner at first," Perlozzo said. "My message to him is to hurry up and smooth it out." What that means is hustle to where the ball is going, and then either move in, or back off, to get a better hop. The workout lasted almost 20 minutes, and Perlozzo was pleased with the results. "He's a tremendously quick learner and has great hands, no question about that," Perlozzo said. "The fact he wanted to come out today for some extra work tells me he wants to get better."
Jim Street is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.