White Sox: Reynaldo Lopez Showing Signs of Improvement
White Sox young starting pitcher showing signs of improvement after another quality start in the team’s loss to the Anaheim Angels on Sunday afternoon.
On Sunday, the White Sox lost 1-0 to the Angels as Anaheim completed a 3 game sweep in Chicago. However, not to be lost in the conversation is the improvement of starter Reynaldo Lopez.
Lopez – acquired from Washington in December of 2016 – struck out 10 Angel batters before being lifted after six innings.
As noted by Brian Sandalow, with a 1.43 ERA, 29 strikeouts, and a .165 opponents’ batting average against him in his last four starts, Lopez ‘[c]an enter the offseason on an upswing.’ This is good news for a team who just lost arguably their best pitcher for the 2019 season.
Sox skipper Rick Renteria was very pleased with Lopez’ outing:
"“Today, there was a really good look about him…He was very calm, very focused. He was trusting what he was capable of doing with all the pitches he had.”"
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Lopez’ success comes following a stretch of games from the first week of July through the middle of August in which he had a 7.17 ERA and allowed only 49 hits in 42 innings.
According to Sox catcher Welington Castillo, a more consistent fastball has a lot to do with the recent changes seen in Lopez.
"“He [Lopez] had a really good fastball (Sunday). Really good life on the fastball…The confidence he has on the fastball and on any pitch in any count, that’s big for him. He’s getting better life on the fastball and [a] better angle on the fastball and the other pitches too. ”"
Speaking of not only Lopez but other Sox players as well, Vinnie Duber of NBC News has pointed out that while 2018 didn’t start out as planned – and predicts 2019 may not start out as planned either.
With Lopez still likely to pitch a handful of times this season, there’s still something left to be shown. However, there should be much optimism for Sox fans about what role he may play in the not so distant future.