Seattle second baseman stuck in Venezuela waiting for his visa Print
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Tuesday, 19 February 2008 08:49
MLB Headline News

 PEORIA, Ariz. (AP) -Seattle second baseman Jose Lopez is having visa problems in Venezuela and will miss the Mariners' first full squad workout.
``We've been aware of it probably a week or a little bit more,'' Seattle manager John McLaren said Tuesday. ``It was out of his control. Those consulates down there are tough to deal with sometimes. You're at their mercy.''
Pitchers and catchers reported to camp last week but position players weren't due to check in until Tuesday, with the first team workout scheduled for Wednesday. Provided he can get his visa situation corrected, Lopez is expected in camp by the end of the week.
Lopez hit .252 with a career-high 11 home runs and 62 RBIs in 2007 after signing a $6 million, four-year deal with the club, but the 24-year-old infielder struggled all season. His brother died in June and Lopez was benched briefly in September.
In an effort to help Lopez rebound, the team brought in former major league manager Lee Elia and invited former infielder Tony Phillips to help him.
The Mariners had hoped Lopez would report to camp early to take extra work.
``That's just the way it is,'' said McLaren, adding he had not spoken with Lopez. ``He did everything he was supposed to do and they were dragging their feet. The information we're getting, everything will be in place and he'll be a day or two late.''
 

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