Tracking an Ex-Jay ... Lopez to Start?

Monday, June 16 2008 @ 12:48 PM EDT

Contributed by: Mick Doherty

Former Blue Jay closer Aquilino Lopez (14 saves as a 2003 rookie) has been optioned to AAA Toledo to transition into a starting pitcher for the struggling Tigers

Lopez has no starts in his 134 career big league appearances and has averaged barely 1.1 IP for those appearances. His most-similar player, historically, is another former Blue Jay closer, Darren Hall, who had 17 saves as a '94 rookie, and who made zero starts in 130 career appearances -- averaging less than one inning per appearance.

Actually, Lopez and Hall are each other's most-similar players, and both left Toronto after two years to sign as free agents with the Dodgers -- but there the similarities fade. Aquilino failed to make the LAD squad and has bounced around from Colorado to Philly and Detroit (now Toledo, anyway), while Hall spent three years with LAD, going 3-7 with two saves, then disappeared from big league ball after 1998.

Interesting tidbit: did you know that Darren Hall actually played one game in the outfield for the 1993 Syracuse Chiefs? Anyone know that story?