Rodrigo López has now fallen out of major league baseball twice; the first time, after a so-so debut with the Padres, he was out of the majors for all of 2001. The Orioles picked him up from the Mexican League for nothing and he was the best pitcher on the team in 2002 and 2004 I liked this guy; stoic, even when he was bad. He went 9-18 in 2006 (despite, in many ways, not having pitched that much worse than the year before) and got traded to Colorado, where he was pretty good again, then lost most of a year to elbow surgery.
At this point, you have to figure most people call it quits; he’s made $11m playing baseball, he’s 33, and his only offer is a minor-league contract with the Phillies, who have prospects much brighter than López in the system. But López signs the contract, Philadelphia loses some starters to injury, and there’s López, ready. He’s pitched two solid starts, allowing just 2 runs in each. I really hope he sticks, and joins the eternal Jamie Moyer on the list of ex-Orioles I would have thought were retired, but were actually productive Phillies.
(Note: You could add Jayson Werth to that list, too. Wow, Jayson Werth for John Bale; that was a bad, bad trade.)
Update: Tom pointed me to this great infographic from the Post about the current whereabouts of the 1999 Orioles. Seeing Arthur Rhodes on here reminded me that it’s not really the Phillies that have the most “where are they now?” ex-Orioles, but Cincinnati; they’re currently starting not only Rhodes, but Jerry Hairston Jr. and Ramon Hernandez. Most startling of all, our washout first-round draft pick Darnell MacDonald is currently hanging on as a light-hitting utility man, batting a career-best .175.