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A week into the Mariners' grand experiment to move Lopez to third and allow free-agent signee Chone Figgins to play second, Lopez says, "I feel great."
Primarily a second baseman in his six previous seasons as a Mariner, Lopez admits he was initially wary of the move, saying, "Nobody is comfortable at a new position the first couple of days."
But he said handling three ground balls without a flaw in his first two games has helped his confidence.
"I feel better," he said Sunday. "I feel really comfortable right now. I don't feel 100 percent. But I think I've got a chance to get to 100 percent before the season starts."
Nothing is concrete yet, but Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu said all signs point toward Lopez staying at third.
"There's nothing right now that says that wouldn't work that I've seen," Wakamatsu said.
That includes not only Lopez's play on the field but his body language, which Wakamatsu said from the start has been positive.
"You're asking a guy to change a position, you want his enthusiasm for it, and he's shown that," Wakamatsu said. "I think initially he has liked it."
The Mariners made the move thinking Figgins — primarily a third baseman with the Angels — might give them a more athletic, mobile body at second, and a replacement was needed at third with Adrian Beltre signing with the Red Sox. Lopez, and his 25 homers of last season, fit the offensive profile of the position.