Cubs still hoping Rodrigo Lopez will return

CHICAGO -- The addition of recently-acquired Michael Bowden to the Cubs bullpen Monday cost Rodrigo Lopez his spot on the roster.

Lopez was designated for assignment by the Cubs, just as Bowden was by the Boston Red Sox before he was traded Saturday, along with a player to be named later, for Marlon Byrd and cash considerations.

“If he clears waivers and everything, we want to keep [Lopez] in the organization and put him in the rotation down in Triple-A,” manager Dale Sveum said. “Hopefully that happens and he elects to go down there as well.”

Lopez is now in a 10-day window when he can be claimed by another team. If nobody claims him he still can avoid going to Triple-A Iowa by becoming a free agent.

The veteran right-hander pitched well in spring training, convincing the Cubs to send Randy Wells to Triple-A to open the season. Lopez wasn’t actually on the Opening Day roster since the Cubs claimed infielder Luis Valbuena off waivers that day, but was added a day later.

In four outings this season, all in relief, Lopez was 0-1 with a 5.68 ERA over 6 1/3 innings with five walks and two strikeouts. Opponents batted .320 against him, the highest mark of any Cubs pitcher.