Happy returns for Javy - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Happy returns for Javy

February 20, 2008

Lake Buena Vista -- Tom Glavine isn't the only former Braves back in an Atlanta uniform this spring.

Also returning is catcher Javy Lopez.

"This took me by surprise," says Lopez. "I'm very fortunate to be back with the team I started with and played for for 10 1/2 years."

Javy Lopez is in camp, but he's officially not on the Braves roster.

Javy is a non-roster invitee, who's goal is to try and earn a spot on the roster as a back-up to All-Star Brian McCann.

Lopez says, "Mentally, I'm prepared for that kind of role, as a back-up catcher. The fact that they're giving me the opportunity, I'm more than happy."

If the decision was left to Braves fans, Javy Lopez would be a cinch to make the Braves roster.

Four years after leaving Atlanta, he's still a fan favorite.

Lopez says, "We've still got the same guys, some of the same guys, plus some really good young talent, and it makes it fun."

The good times Javy Lopez enjoyed in Atlanta for the first ten years of his major league career are a big reason why he's hoping for one more shot in the big leagues with the Braves.

"Once I left the team in 2003, I realized how good this organization was, and how much this team means to me," says Lopez.

Lopez was a three-time All-Star with the Braves, and hit a career-best .328 with 43 homers and 109 RBI in his final season with the team in 2003.

With the team wrapping up pitching camp, the Braves now look forward to their first full squad workout Wednesday, and open up the exhibition schedule a week from Wednesday against the University of Georgia.  

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