Phils tab veteran Lopez to start Friday
Righty to face Mets in first Major League start since 2007
ATLANTA -- The Phillies had four choices for Friday's start against the Mets at Citizens Bank Park:
Rodrigo Lopez, Carlos Carrasco, Andrew Carpenter or Kyle Kendrick.
They chose Lopez.
"All of them threw well when I saw them last week," Phillies assistant general manager Benny Looper said. "The thought with Rodrigo is the experience that he has had. He pitched very well Sunday when I saw him. We thought it was time to give him a chance."
Lopez is 5-4 with a 3.91 ERA in 13 starts this season with Triple-A Lehigh Valley. He is 65-65 with a 4.80 ERA in his seven-year Major League career. He last pitched for the Rockies in 2007 because of arm problems.
Lopez signed a Minor League deal with the Phillies at the end of Spring Training after they watched him pitch in the World Baseball Classic. He had Tommy John elbow ligament replacement surgery in August 2007, and spent most of 2008 recovering from the surgery. The Braves signed him to a Minor League deal toward the end of last season, but they did not exercise the option they had on him.
"He has to be somewhat of a different pitcher because he doesn't have the arm he used to have," Looper said. "But it's still good enough. He commanded the fastball and slider very well, and he did a good job of pitching."
Ibanez not ready yet: Left fielder Raul Ibanez, who has been on the 15-day disabled list since June 18 with a strained left groin, did not make a rehab appearance Wednesday with Double-A Reading. He could begin one Thursday.
"He did well [in a workout Tuesday], but we all felt that one more day of baseball activities before going out on a rehab assignment was appropriate," Phils general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said.
Ibanez is eligible to be activated Friday, but he might need at least 10 to 12 at-bats in the Minors before he is ready. That means he might not return until Sunday at the earliest.
Eyre begins rehab: Left-hander Scott Eyre, who is on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left calf, made a rehab start Wednesday with Reading. He allowed three hits, one run, one walk and one home run in two-thirds of an inning. He also struck out one.
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.