Lopez Impressed with Nats' Improvement

Cardinals infielder Felipe Lopez, who played for the Nationals from 2006-2008, talked briefly about his time in Washington over the weekend.

Lopez was acquired from the Cincinnati Reds before the trade deadline in 2006 and after two seasons in Washington, he was released in July of 2008. He's played for the Brewers, Diamondbacks and Cardinals since leaving Washington, but Lopez said his family does miss living in the nation's capital.

"My wife is from here and my kids enjoyed being at grandma and grandpa's house all the time," Lopez said. "I miss that and the ballpark is really nice too. It's a good place to be."

Lopez couldn't quite explain his struggles in Washington, or the team's poor play during his time as a National, but he believes the team has a bright future.

"They've done a nice job developing guys from their own farm system," he said. "They are getting better. They have good offense. They just have a lot of young pitchers that sooner or later, they're going to be established and know how to play the game. I think they are going to be a good team in the future."

Lopez credits Ryan Zimmerman for much of the team's improvement and even for keeping the team motivated during those tough years.

"He's a great teammate, a great person and just a great ballplayer all around," Lopez said. "That's the kind of guy you want to have on your team."

As he prepares for the final stretch of a tough race to the playoffs in the NL Central, Lopez stressed that fans should be excited about the future here in Washington.

"All I can say is keep supporting the team because it makes a difference. When you have a lot of fans and support from the city, it makes a lot of difference."

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