Chicago White Sox: Three players on the hot seat in spring training

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - AUGUST 03: Carlos Rodon #55 of the Chicago White Sox pitches in the second inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park on August 03, 2020 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - AUGUST 03: Carlos Rodon #55 of the Chicago White Sox pitches in the second inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park on August 03, 2020 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /
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Chicago White Sox, Reynaldo Lopez
(Photo by Ron Schwane/Getty Images) /

Reynaldo Lopez. 44. player. 128. . SP. Chicago White Sox

The Chicago White Sox would love to see Reynaldo Lopez pan out.

Reynaldo Lopez has gone from a young prospect with an optimistic future to fighting for his job. That’s life in the MLB in a nutshell. To be fair to Lopez he is still only 27 years old. He owns an immense amount of talent. What has held Lopez back throughout his career is consistency.

The White Sox acquired him as a part of the Adam Eaton trade in a package that included Lucas Giolito. In his first pro season, he impressed to the tune of a 3.91 ERA in 32 starts. Instead of making a  jump the following season, he frustrated fans with an inconsistent season that saw his ERA balloon up to 5.38. After another down year in 2020, the pressure is on Lopez to perform.

Lopez made his second Spring Training start on Thursday but struggled giving up five runs in three innings.  While there is still plenty of time left in Spring Training there is only one spot remaining in the rotation so every pitch carries extra weight.

Lopez believes that he has a problem tipping his pitches and that is something he is working on with Ethan Katz. Katz is also helping Lopez reintroduce the curveball to his repertoire. The curveball was his best pitch while he was with the Nationals but when he came to Chicago, Don Cooper wanted him to use a slider because he believed it was a more reliable strike-throwing pitch.

With the curveball back in the equation, Lopez has a nice compliment to his fastball, particularly when he throws it up in the zone. Katz has also shortened his arm path, something he thinks will help Lopez. It is still yet to be seen if these adjustments will pay off but if they don’t Lopez may be honing his craft in Triple-A Charlotte.

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