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Chicago White Sox: Is Reynaldo Lopez all the way back?

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - JULY 24: Starting pitcher Reynaldo Lopez #40 of the Chicago White Sox delivers the ball in the first inning against the Miami Marlins at Guaranteed Rate Field on July 24, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - JULY 24: Starting pitcher Reynaldo Lopez #40 of the Chicago White Sox delivers the ball in the first inning against the Miami Marlins at Guaranteed Rate Field on July 24, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images) /
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The Chicago White Sox pitcher had a pretty good year in 2018, but the first half of his 2019 was terrible but he is looking to get back to where he was.

Reynaldo Lopez was a really good pitcher for the Chicago White Sox in 2018. He was probably their best pitcher for that season. It isn’t saying much because they really didn’t get halfway good stuff from anybody besides Lopez but it is still something to say you were the best pitcher on a Major League team at any point in time. With all of that said, he was terrible in the first half of the 2019 season.

He went into the All-Star break by telling everyone that he would be much better in the second half because he has corrected what he was doing wrong. So far, he has done just that. Before the break, he had the highest ERA in all of Major League baseball. In 18 game starts, he had a 6.34 ERA, an opponent slash line of .297/.361/.546, 38 walks, 86 strikeouts and had given up 23 home runs. Those are some terrible numbers for a guy who we all knew could do much better.

Since the break, he has three starts and a 1.71 ERA, four walks, 25 strikeouts, one home run was given up, and his opponents are .171/.222/.276 against him. Those are Cy Young level statistics if they were done over a full season. Obviously, it might not be completely sustainable for Lopez, but somewhere in between that and his first half would be nice.

The White Sox have Lucas Giolito, Michael Kopech, Dylan Cease, and Carlos Rodon waiting in the wing to make up the rotation next year. Lopez has a lot of work to do still to earn a spot in that rotation. There is also lots of talk about the White Sox pursuing a big name pitching free agent this offseason, so Lopez better keep playing well for his own sake.  It would be so awesome as a fan for him to see this rebuild through with his teammates. If he does, the Adam Eaton for Lopez and Giolito trade looks even more brilliant than it already does.

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The next time you see Reynaldo on the mound for the White Sox will almost certainly be in the series against the New York Mets that goes on next week. He isn’t scheduled for any of the four games against the Twins because he just finished the series finale against the Miami Marlins. I would expect him to start the first game of the Mets series.

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