Diamondbacks right-handed prospect Yoan Lopez left Double-A Mobile on Wednesday for the second time in as many seasons, this time with the intention of giving up the sport, reports Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic. The Diamondbacks have since convinced Lopez to avoid making a definitive decision on his future for the time being, per general manager Dave Stewart, who conceded that the 23-year-old is “not having a good time” and is dealing with “serious emotional issues.” Lopez signed with the D-backs for a sizable $8.27MM bonus in January 2015, but the Cuba native has since posted subpar numbers (4.89 ERA, 5.7 K/9 and 4.3 BB/9) across 116 minor league innings. That could at least be thanks in part to Lopez’s traumatic experience immigrating to the United States, as Stewart pointed out: “It’s the escaping, crossing the water in a raft — or however he got here — living in Haiti and then going to the Dominican, leaving family members — it’s all of it.” As of now, Stewart and the organization are working to help Lopez get back on track.
More from the National League:
- Newly signed 16-year-old Braves prospects Kevin Maitan and Abrahan Gutierrez might not be as far from the majors as their youth suggests, general manager John Coppolella told David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “I think when you look at Andruw Jones hit two home runs in the World Series at age 18, both these kids are 16,” Coppolella said of Maitan and Gutierrez, who combined to sign for $7.75MM. “I’m not saying they’re going to hit two home runs in the 2018 World Series, but we think that they’re special talents that won’t take six or seven years. They could be here fairly quickly and they could have a big impact on the Braves.” Coppolella also stated that he hopes the two begin 2017 in the Gulf Coast League.
- The Pirates’ frustration with scuffling left-hander Francisco Liriano has begun to manifest itself, details John Perrotto of Today’s Knuckleball. Pitching coach Ray Searage became so irked at Liriano during a recent bullpen session that the former ended up leaving and storming back into the clubhouse, according to Perrotto. Part of Searage’s frustration stems from Liriano’s refusal to abide by the Pirates’ wish for him to pick one side of the rubber and stick with it consistently. The 32-year-old Liriano, a potential trade candidate who’s owed $13MM next season, has followed three straight stellar campaigns with an ugly 2016. So far, Liriano has logged a bloated ERA (5.33) and walk rate (5.88 per nine innings) in 82 2/3 frames, and ERA estimators like FIP (5.46), xFIP (4.75) and SIERA (4.93) are also noticeably down on his performance.
- When the Dodgers took on Dian Toscano from the Braves as part of the Bud Norris deal, the club agreed to absorb only a portion of the $3MM left on his contract, per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports (via Twitter). The 27-year-old outfielder is struggling at Double-A and has not shown any signs of providing value to Atlanta. It’s not known how much of the balance will transfer to L.A.