Spring Takeaways From This Weekend’s Games

By Joseph Jacquez
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Yoan Lopez was roughed up in his first spring outing against the Giants. Photo Courtesy of Baseball America.

Yoan Lopez Roughed Up in Spring Debut

Diamondbacks no.6 prospect Yoan Lopez made his spring debut Sunday against the Giants, and it was a struggle. He labored through 1 2/3 innings pitched giving up four runs on six hits in a 10-5 victory at Salt River Fields.

Lopez said he had no issues controlling his emotions, but watching his body language on his mound it became pretty clear that nerves were a factor. After his start, he talked to Steve Gilbert of MLB.com, and he admitted he was nervous:

“Definitely very anxious for my debut,” Lopez said through interpreter Hatuey Mendoza. “I was very anxious when I was out there. It was the start of my career at this moment. I was very, very excited and happy about it.”

Lopez has had problems in camp with command, and Manager Chip Hale has said that Lopez has gotten really anxious at times during camp. He was throwing strikes on Sunday, but most of his pitches were belt high or middle middle, and he was getting hit hard.

Like most of the pitchers in camp, the Diamondbacks don’t know what Lopez’s role will be. He signed an $8 million dollar signing bonus, so the expectations are high. People have to remember that Lopez is only 22 years old, and his command and control are still being fine-tuned.

The Diamondbacks should start him off in the minors and see how he does. The last thing that the front office wants to happen is to see their investment go to waste by rushing a young pitcher up. That has happened to many times.