After recovering from a tilt injury, Otto Lopez wants to attract the attention of Toronto

Finally recovering from a tilt injury that kept him inactive for a month, Kipker Otto Lopez is back at the Buffalo Bison, the AAA Blue Jays school club. Now he only wants one thing: to be seen from Toronto.

“It doesn’t bother me at all, I feel 100% right now,” he said of the Buffalo before a game against the Syracuse Mets. But it took a long time: We had to find the exact formula to get me back on my feet, and in the end, only complete rest helped me.

However, this month away from the game has left its mark: He, who has clocked a career average of .304 since joining the Jays organization in 2017, had scored just .200 before Friday’s game.

“The sample is so small that we don’t worry about his stats this season; general manager Ross Atkins, who he met earlier this week in Toronto, confirmed he has only a few speculators at this time, and we are not at all concerned about his numbers. We are particularly pleased to know that he has recovered physically from this injury. He will be able to get the presence at the bat he lacks and deliver performances at the height of those he has performed so far, if not better. He has worked hard in all aspects and we are very encouraged by his return to the game We can’t wait to see what he has to offer.

His manager at Bison, former Exo Casey Candaele, is also not worried about the fitness of the 23-year-old Quebec.

“He’s always been a great hitter. His current problems are entirely related to his tilt injury. He’s completely healed, but the down time hurts him now. He just needs to find his rhythm and play regularly. Defensively, he plays very well and still manages the trails well. He’ll get through it, I’m not worried at all.”

The offensive average isn’t there, but his on-road average is sluggish at 0.315. His average strength (.422) is one-thousandth of the average offered so far in Jays affiliates.

cleverness

He began his professional training in the Gulf Coast League, at the junior level, in 2017, after being hired as a freelancer a year earlier. Lopez, a native of the Dominican Republic, did not have to go through conscription, like the Canadian players.

Every season since then, he’s been rising to the next level, so last year he received his first major call-up, a one-time use at bat. Withdrawing from the catch, he waits for the next opportunity to assert himself.

Philosopher Lopez, “It was just to make me savor what I want to live all the time.”

A second essential man, he is currently developing his versatility. The midfielder is busy in Toronto, with excellent Bo Bichette in attendance, and Santiago Espinosa is currently enjoying the best moments of his career in second place. Another young player, Kavan Biggio, could also play in the middle of the field, but was recently demoted to AAA, officially for fitness after injury, but Biggio was having a rough time with Jays.

Atkins didn’t say it outright, but we feel Lopez’s best is to master several positions, as Abraham Torow does with the Seattle Mariners.

“Best play of all time. If he’s good enough, he’ll be here somehow, sooner or later. But I’ll say this: Diversity is a powerful weapon and he’s training hard to improve his abilities.”

“It’s good for all the young players to learn more than one position,” Candel added. Often the first time you’re called into the Majors, you don’t necessarily play your main position, which you’ve been playing for so long. So it’s good for him to make him play in more than one position: when he is called, he will be more prepared.”

Candel sees Lopez as a complete player who just needs a few more hits to regain his trends from past seasons.

“He is an excellent runner and he can play across the board, in addition to his ability to play second and third. All of these assets add to his value. He can help in many defensive ways and teams appreciate that a lot these days.

“Offensively, he’s a strong guy. He’s not necessarily Homer, but he hits the lanes regularly and when he comes home the opposing clubs can’t play a special defense because he hits all the fields. It helps him see the good strength and presence/average strengths.”

big worker

Candaele especially loves the work ethic shown by Lopez, a quality that can earn him a phone call sooner than he thinks.

“He is a guy who plays the right way. He is always ready to work overtime. These are all things that work in his favour. It is interesting to direct him.”

The main interested party doesn’t think much of Toronto, but does hope that Toronto does.

“I feel like I’m about to get back into the rhythm I had last year. For sure when they need me, I’ll be ready.

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