Reynaldo Lopez is the no. 6 prospect in the White Sox newly upgraded farm system, but he has a very good chance to be the first one called up. Before the season even began, people were saying how he is probably the most Big-League ready out of all the prospects the team obtained in the offseason. While he had a few rough starts to begin the year, no one has ever doubted his potential. He has the ceiling of a low-end ace or solid no. 2, and the floor of a dynamite reliever.
What’s He Got?
Lopez is a fly-ball pitcher and works with a fastball-curveball combo. His fastball has hit 100 and sits around 96-97. It lacks life however, and can tend to get hit around when it flattens out too much. His curveball generates more swing and misses, as he throws it with power and nasty bite. In Charlotte, he has focused on improving his changeup and control. It is evident that he has taken strides forward in both of those areas, especially as of late. There is no service time or Super-2 barrier that the organization needs to worry about. They have made it known publicly that they are only going to promote their prospects to the White Sox if they are 100% certain they will stay up there for good.
The above video is Lopez at his absolute best. When he can command his fastball like that, he is an absolute joy to watch. It sure does sound like he has gotten better at it down in Triple-A.
A Dominating Stretch
As stated earlier, Lopez is really dominating opposing batters as of late. Today was just another day at the office for him, as he threw 7 innings of 2-hit ball, with 1 ER, 12 K’s, and 2BB. He did not personally get the win, but the Knights ended up wining on a walk-off hit. Lopez has also made quality starts in 5 of his last 7 starts. To qualify for a quality start, a pitcher must go at least 6 full innings with no more than 3 ER given up. Furthermore, in his last 22.2 innings pitched, Lopez has a 1.59 ERA, 28 K’s, and just 3 walks. If there were ever a time to bring up Lopez, it would make sense for it to be now or in the very near future.
Open Spot In The Rotation
With the recent trade of Jose Quintana, there is now an open spot in the rotation. Sure Miguel Gonzalez is back from his stint on the DL, but they could/should DFA either Mike Pelfrey or David Holmberg to make room for Lopez. He is really starting to force Rick Hahn’s hands, which is a great problem to have.
I don’t think the White Sox are necessarily waiting for an injury to happen to bring up Lopez. At this point it really is just a matter of time until he makes his White Sox debut. The second half is going to be a really exciting time for the fans. Especially these upcoming weeks with the trade deadline looming. I would honestly be shocked it Lopez is still pitching for the Charlotte Knights in August. Get excited, White Sox fans. Lopez will be on the South Side sooner than later.