Lopez hopes he's earned ticket to Chicago

Lopez hopes he's earned ticket to Chicago

Lopez hopes he's earned ticket to Chicago
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Rodrigo Lopez is focused on getting to Chicago and nothing else.

The right-hander gave up two runs on four hits over 4 1/3 innings on Sunday in the Cubs' 6-2 win over the Indians, and now has given up five earned runs over 16 1/3 innings in his Cactus League appearances.

Cubs manager Dale Sveum has indicated he'll name the final five starters on Wednesday. Has Lopez, 36, convinced the skipper he's a good fit?

"I think I did enough and hopefully that counts for me being in the rotation," the right-hander said. "I expected today to go five, six innings and not give up anything, [which would have been] a good statement. I still think I did a pretty good job. Hopefully, I can be in Chicago pretty soon."

If there isn't a spot in the rotation, Lopez could step into the bullpen and be a long man.

"He's been throwing the ball great this whole Spring Training," Sveum said. "He's really comfortable with his slider, which made him as good as he was in '04 and '05 with Baltimore. That's a must pitch for him to get it with a lot more tilt on it, and that's what he's had in Spring Training."

That would be a huge plus for the Cubs. In '04, Lopez was 14-9 with a 3.59 ERA for the Orioles, and he followed that with a 15-12 season and 4.90 ERA in '05. Lopez agreed that he has a good feel for his slider and felt he had good command of all his pitches.

But if there's no room in the rotation or the bullpen, which was still being sorted out, would Lopez consider going to Triple-A Iowa?

"I don't want to think about that," Lopez said. "My mind is in Chicago. This is not over yet. I don't want to think about that yet. That's why I came here and asked for the opportunity to make the team. I feel like I'm doing enough to be on the team, and we'll see. We'll see what happens."