KANSAS CITY -- Third baseman Jose Lopez sent a text message to his friend and former teammate Adrian Beltre the other day.
It said, "Hey, give me the Gold Glove."
Beltre returned the text: "You can have one of the two I have."
Hey, maybe he can get his own Gold Glove.
It's way too early to be thinking about postseason awards, but replacing Beltre, a two-time Gold Glove Award winner with the Mariners, has gone remarkably smoothly for Lopez this season.
Going into Wednesday's series finale against the Royals, he committed just two errors in 82 total chances and started eight double plays. And Beltre, now playing for the Red Sox after a five-year career with Seattle, has made four errors in 53 chances and started five DPs.
"He is committed to being the best third baseman he can be," Mariners coach Steve Hecht said after a 30-minute session with Lopez prior to a Mariners game against the Royals. "Adrian would want you to hit bucket after bucket of balls at him in Spring Training, and Jose is doing the same thing.
"It's great. It really is. I just keep hitting balls to him until he says 'stop.'"
That has been about 100 balls on the days the Mariners take early batting practice.
Lopez, a converted second baseman, works on catching the ball and then setting his feet so he can make a strong, accurate throw to first base.
"I am getting real comfortable over there," he said.