White Sox young hurler has nice outing in his final start of 2017 campaign. He’s the third pitcher to end season on high note for South Siders.
The Chicago White Sox have had some good performances from their starting pitchers over the last week. However, on Wednesday Reynaldo Lopez didn’t have as strong of a start as he would have liked but he was still effective.
Pitching in his final start of 2017, Lopez pitched six innings while allowing four earned runs in a 6-4 Sox win over the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Lopez was having an impressive start for the Sox until the fifth inning. That’s when he allowed a game-tying three run home run to Kole Calhoun.
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Lopez would give up another run in the sixth inning, but he ended the game with seven strikeouts. His 2017 totals with the Sox include a 3-3 record, 4.72 ERA, 30 strikeouts and a 1.32 WHIP through 47.2 innings pitched. Although these totals are far from elite, they’re slightly better than his numbers from last season with the Washington Nationals.
In 44 innings pitched with the Nationals in 2016, Lopez posted a 5-3 record with a 4.91 ERA, 42 strikeouts and a 1.57 WHIP. Lopez started six games for Washington and made five relief appearances last season. This season however, Lopez made eight starts but only pitched seven innings in a start once.
The 23-year-old right-hander had a good debut outing for the Sox on Aug. 11 against the Kansas City Royals. In his first start with the Sox, Lopez pitched six innings while recording six strikeouts and allowing just two earned runs. After the Sox acquired Lopez as part of a package for Adam Eaton from the Nationals last offseason, he started the 2017 season with Triple-A Charlotte.
Lopez, along with Lucas Giolito who was also part of trade from the Nationals, got some much needed development before being promoted to the Sox. Although his numbers from this season in the majors are just a little bit better than his 2016 stint with Washington, Lopez did improve on the amount of walks he allowed.
In 2016, Lopez allowed 22 walks for the Nationals. This season, Lopez only allowed 14 walks for the Sox. Lopez still has more work to do in order to become a consistently good starting pitcher in the majors. This is something he’s aware of as he looks forward to gaining more experience according to Colleen Kane of the Chicago Tribune.
"“That’s something that has made me feel more confident about myself, about what I can do on the mound. This is just the beginning. I can do much more with the experience I’m gaining here.” Reynaldo Lopez"
With a rotation featuring Lopez, Giolito, Carlos Rodon and James Shields next season, the Sox could surprise some people and actually contend in the American League. Even if the Sox aren’t competitive in 2018, the continued development of Lopez and other young players will be vital for this organization.
The Sox have a bright future ahead of them, and Lopez figures to be an important player for this team. If he can become a solid number two or three pitcher in this team’s rotation, the Sox could in fact have a very strong pitching staff for plenty of years. Lopez is showing that he wants to compete in the majors, and it will be up to him to maintain consistency on the mound.