2/29 Lopez, the Cubs’ baby-faced assasin

Rodrigo Lopez is happy to be reunited with Rick Sutcliffe. The two were together with the Padres when Lopez was pitching in rookie ball and Sutcliffe was the pitching coach.

“He’s been like a son to me,” Sutcliffe said Wednesday. “I call him a baby-faced assasin. I heard it said a long time ago, Walter Alston said, ‘I can win with that guy,’ and ‘Lopey’ is that guy. Whatever you need — he’ll start, he’ll relieve, he’ll close. He’s not afraid of anything.”

Sutcliffe did make some minor changes with Lopez’s grip.

“I put him back where he was when I saw him there [with the Padres],” Sutcliffe said.

Lopez is 36 but looks young. He looked even younger in rookie ball.

“I said, ‘People look at you and they’re not sure if you’re tough or not,'” Sutcliffe said, “so I told him I wanted him to hit somebody, and he hit three people in a row. He got two outs and he hit three of them, and I said, ‘Whoa, I got it.'”

— Carrie Muskat

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