The Orioles announced today that they have claimed right-handed pitcher Jorge Lopez off waivers from the Royals. Lopez, 27, was designated for assignment by Kansas City on Friday. He’ll be added to the Baltimore 40-man roster, which is now full.
Lopez made just one appearance for the Royals this year before he was placed on the bereavement list. That preceded his departure from the Royals, who designated Lopez owing to his lack of minor-league options.
Once a highly-regarded prospect, Lopez has thus far failed to find success at the MLB level between stints with the Brewers and Royals, who acquired him as part of the return for Mike Moustakas. In 190 innings at the MLB level, Lopez has a 5.97 ERA while averaging a mediocre 7.4 K/9. Last year, he was a key part of the Royals’ staff, throwing the fifth-most innings on the team as he was deployed both as a starter and in relief.
Lopez should be a viable depth option for an Orioles pitching staff that has actually fared pretty well this year: the Orioles staff is sporting a 3.87 FIP, good for tenth-best in baseball. Granted, the ERA figures have lagged behind thus far, and it’s not a group of world-beaters, but there are some intriguing names in Baltimore. Lopez, if he gets a crack in the Majors, could serve as a starter or reliever for Brandon Hyde.