The White Sox have optioned struggling right-hander Reynaldo Lopez to their alternate training site and recalled left-hander Bernardo Flores Jr., per a team announcement.
It’s a disappointing development for the 26-year-old Lopez but one the Sox clearly no longer felt they could avoid. Lopez was once regarded as one of baseball’s best overall prospects and was a key piece in the trade that sent Adam Eaton from Chicago to Washington, D.C. He’s been in the big leagues since his original promotion with the Sox back in Aug. 2017.
Lopez posted a solid 3.91 ERA through 188 2/3 frames with the Sox in 2018 — his first full Major League season. However, he did so with ugly peripheral metrics that painted him as a candidate for major regression, and that’s precisely what panned out. Dating back to Opening Day 2019, Lopez has a 5.53 ERA and 5.18 FIP in 193 2/3 innings for the South Siders. In 2020, he’s started four games but lasted only 9 2/3 innings overall. Along the way, he’s yielded 11 runs (nine earned) on 14 hits, eight walks and a hit batter with 10 strikeouts.
Were the Sox still in rebuild mode, perhaps they’d chalk this up to continued growing pains and keep trotting Lopez out against big league lineups. But the team’s drawn-out rebuilding process has reached its conclusion, and the White Sox are now squarely in win-now mode, making it harder to accept substandard outings like the one put together by Lopez yesterday. In a key match against the division-rival Twins, Lopez was unable to escape the second inning, allowing three runs on four hits and a pair of walks. He used 53 pitches to record his five outs.
Even when Lopez was considered a premier prospect, there were some scouts who felt his ultimate home would be in the bullpen. He’s worked closer to a true three-pitch mix in 2020 and, in his two most recent outings, thrown primarily fastballs and sliders. Given his ongoing struggles in the rotation, perhaps there will be some intrigue within the organization to see how Lopez would handle short-relief stints that allow him to ramp up his fastball velocity and focus on a two-pitch mix.
With Lopez out of the mix for at least the foreseeable future, it appears the Sox will roll with Lucas Giolito, Dallas Keuchel, Dylan Cease and perhaps Dane Dunning as the top four in their rotation. Carlos Rodon was said over the weekend to be nearing a return, and the Sox also have veteran southpaw Gio Gonzalez on the mend from a groin strain.
Flores, recalled in place of Lopez, could be an option to start a game as well. He made 15 starts for Chicago’s Double-A affiliate last year, totaling 78 1/3 innings with a 3.33 ERA, 7.9 K/9, 1.7 BB/9 and a 53.3 percent ground-ball rate. He’s yet to pitch in the big leagues, so whether his first appearance comes as a starter or out of the ’pen, that’ll mark his MLB debut. Flores isn’t considered one of the system’s elite prospects, but he ranks on the back half of the top 30 at MLB.com (19) and FanGraphs (27).
I’m still hoping that he can reinvent himself like Giolito did, but it’s going to take a lot of hard work. When Lopez is on, he’s nigh unhittable. The problem last year was terrible inconsistency. Don’t know what the issue is this year, but 10:1 it’s between his ears.
I always thought White Sox stole Giolito and Lopez for Eaton. Never thought Eaton could get 2 top pitching prospects.
I wouldn’t say stole. Eaton is a good ballplayer. They won a world series with the man.
However, Giolito is the ace for the White Sox and Dunning looks like the real deal.
Lopez might be best suited in the bullpen. Could be a closer. He really does have great stuff.
Got Dane Dunning in Eaton trade, too!
Had no hitter (1BB) the other night! Too bad they yanked him after 5.
One could argue that even back then the trade was for Giolito and Dunning, with Lopez thrown in.
Everytime the camera has cut to him this year or last he just looked, lost I guess. His facial expressions say it all and if it is a mental thing and not a physical thing, which I think it’s very much physical too, moving to the bullpen may give him some confidence back. Even in 2018 it reminded me of Matt Latos where his numbers weren’t horrible but I knew that wasn’t something he could maintain and was very much a benefactor of luck.
What’s up with the ‘great’ Dr Don Cooper? How come he isn’t helping Lopez? Sox fans hold him in high regard for being able to solve every problem except Covid. That always baffles me, if he was so good – how come they haven’t been .500 since what, 10 years ago.
No, Dogboner is a Sox fan. He just doesn’t want to admit it but his obsession with them on this site makes it obvious.
Anyway, I agree with experimenting Reynaldo in the pen. Doesn’t seem cut out for the rotation. No harm in seeing what happens.
White Sox have the 8th best ERA in mlb.
wild bill tetley
8th in ERA pitching in the weakest division in baseball and probably the weakest out of the East, Central and West.
I know you are just trolling and I am mad at myself for replying already, but you might want to look at the standings. AL Central is actually the BEST division in baseball right now – as the teams are collectively 13 games over .500 and only KC is below. The top 3 are 23 games over.
His velo is also down about 2-3 ticks. I wonder if his shoulder is still bothering him and he’s not saying anything. He’s shown a huge arm in the past but was a wreck last night.
This. His command isn’t good enough to top out at ~94mph. When he’s sitting comfortably at 95+, he’s electric and can get away with mistakes. I don’t know if it’s injury or not being able to build up properly (messed up offseason plus the injury), but he can’t survive sitting at 94.
So if he Sux, or is hurt, it’s “between his ears”???
Between his ears is a relative thing. I think his level of confidence is related to his having lost his feel for pitching, not that his feel for pitching comes from a lack of confidence. He wants to throw strikes, undoubtedly. It doesn’t take a coach to tell a pitcher not to get behind 3-1 on every hitter. He just can’t locate his pitches well enough to throw more strikes than balls and get ahead of hitters.
If he somehow recaptures the feel for pitching, his confidence and all of that will return. But right now, confidence would be useless for him if he keeps throwing the ball without the accuracy that a major league pitcher needs. Most people don’t have the skill to pitch or be a professional athlete, and yet they may be very confident people. I know there is a valid point to the sentiment that it’s mental/confidence, but it’s not ENTIRELY mental if he can’t find the subtle things he is doing wrong with his delivery that contribute to complete lack of ability to locate his pitches well.
He’s had two very bad years in a row, even if this is a short one. It is going to be tough for him to make it with this team, and I think he is pretty much done as a starter unless it is for a different team.
I think that he could become a solid relief pitcher. He never really developed a 3rd pitch that was much good.
He needs to make adjustments or his days as a SP are over.
I agree,, Only way he comes back is as a 1 inning relief pitcher, use the winter to prepare for that, he’s done this year.
Can he be the closer for them
he wouldn’t be good, but sure.
Dumpster Divin Theo
Yes , that may be what the Sox are doing by reassigning him. Colome is not a long term option and Bummer and Marshall are best suited as setup guys
Why they have Colome and Bummer for closer.
Good. It’s past time to give Flores a chance, and Lopez a new look as a reliever.
Idioms for Idiots
Wow, I did not see this coming. I know he’s been struggling, but I thought they would at least put him in relief to get him straightened out.
This might be the best thing for him in the long run, get his head cleared and work hard to get himself back in management’s good graces again, most likely as a reliever. He can definitely be a late inning guy, even a closer. Or he could take an Andrew Miller-type role and be a shutdown guy for 2 or 3 innings.
Now we get to see what Flores can bring to the table. I’m curious if he’s going to be a starter or reliever. Don’t know how close Rodon and Gonzalez really are.
Stone hinted at it last night – saying something like ‘this is the most important outing/inning of Reynaldo’s time with the Sox.’ I think he knew another bad outing would be an issue.
Moving someone to the pen does not guarantee success. Hoping he turns into an “Andrew Miller” is a bit of a dream scenario. Try “David Phelps” first, and be happy if he makes that level.
There are loads of struggling starting pitchers who became great relievers. There are also a few who eventually became TOR’s, often with a change of scenery like Jake Arrieta. I could see Reynaldo Lopez become a Pedro Strop type reliever who ironically was the other pitcher along with Arietta that the Cubs stole from the Orioles in that July 2013 trade for SP Scott Feldman and C Steve Clevenger. Strop is reportedly set to sign a minor league deal with the White Sox as we post.
Idioms for Idiots
I didn’t say he was going to become another Andrew Miller. I said he can take an Andrew Miller-type role…ROLE being the key word (sorry, but I can’t underline on here).
And I did not suggest he will be guaranteed success going to the pen. He could easily end up a bust, and that wouldn’t be a big deal. We knew there were going to be busts (Fulmer, for one). Busts will happen in every rebuild. It’s not a matter of how many prospects miss for the Sox, it’s how many hit the target.
By the way, congrats on the Tigers already surpassing their projected win total for the year. They are far and away the surprise team of the year, no one else is remotely close.
Flores made his MLB debut tonight as a reliever in mop up role. Gave up a couple of runs but was throwing strikes.
Had first hitter 0-2, then gave up a hit. Next guy a double. Two runs scored but then he retired the next 3 in order. One of those 2 runs scored on an out. Ended with a K. No walks!
Flores got his first K and, hopefully, will be more relaxed in case he starts versus Pittsburgh next week!
The White Sox have scheduled off days on Monday and Thursday next week ahead of and after facing the Pirates in Pittsburgh on Tuesday and Wednesday. They return home to face the Tigers on Friday, September 11th which begins a stretch of 17 consecutive games to finish their regular season. They won’t be in need of a 5th starter until that time and it likely won’t be Bernardo Flores unless it is as an opener seeing as how he was only stretched out to pitch 3-4 innings while at the White Sox alternate summer camp.
They hope to have Carlos Rodon back in time for those final 17 games along with Gio Gonzalez. Perhaps Reynaldo Lopez can figure things out by then as well. Another possibility might be #6 prospect Jonathan Stiever but I’m guessing the White Sox will roll with one of the veterans in their final push to secure a playoff spot.
Better late than never to finally let Flores Jr get a shot. The defense will have to be ready for balls in play, and that is fine. Rookies Foster/Heuer doing well and even Burdi taking his lumps are all positive promotions big picture. Please move Rodon to bullpen instead of being stubborn and promote Mercedes to push aside EE…..and get rid of black cat Yolmer/reminders of losing culture.
Your screen name is a reminder of a losing culture!
I thought the same thing but wouldn’t bash a fellow Sox fan.
Not bashing, merely pointing out the obvious for someone who seems to have a lot of ideas about how the team should be structured.
No worries. Didn’t feel like changing original screen name from long time ago. Projected first year they would become interesting/relevant again. Only half right with first part and too many key young arms injured to make second part true.
And what year is he supposed to use? 2011? The last time they finished.500.
Mods – I get that you can’t do much moderating because of time/budget constraints etc., but this idiot Dogbone has created an account specifically so he can try to troll the White Sox? 90% of the people know it and don’t reply, but every once in awhile this 30 year-old in mom’s basement grabs a fish and takes things offtopic.
Is there any such thing as a ban on this site?
Idioms for Idiots
For whatever reason, the moderators won’t touch Dogbone. He trolls with impunity. For all we know, he could be Steve Adams’ son LOL. Just kidding, Steve.
I got blocked from the site for far less back in Sept or Oct last year (and I admit I deserved it).
Unfortunately, Dogbone now has competition for the biggest tool on the Sox threads, which is bronyaur. It’s like having 2 Dogbones.
Eric Olson 2
Trade him to the Cubs for Albert Almora. A change of scenery could work out for both of them.
Yeah – maybe Almora could take over CF for the Sox. Seriously, trades aren’t made because you want your team to be better – they actually have to work for both teams. Even if they got Almora to play right field in place of struggling Mazara, they already have Engel, who is a better hitting version of Almora. Come on man.
Well he was injured in first inning of his first start of season. Shoulder injury.
Maybe never recovered and rushed back too soon.
Hopefully, Reynaldo recovers fully in Schaumburg and we see him pitch for White Sox in the 2020 World Series.
Dumpster Divin Theo
yeah sure hope so. When he’s on, he’s electric
About dang time, Lopez is absolute trash as a SP.
Twins fans say thanks for last night. Twins are out of their funk thanks to this guy. Look out whoever plays them down the road. Go Twins!
Except the Yankees no?
Dumpster Divin Theo
or anyone in the first round
It’s also being reported from more than one source that a Pedro Strop signing to a minor league contract is imminent (soxon35th.com/2020/09/03/white-sox-reportedly-sign…). Strop would report to their alternate site in Schaumburg and become a bullpen depth option for the White Sox down the stretch and potentially the postseason if he is added to the active roster by September 15th.
Strop signing would be very good news hope it pans out. As for Lopez he looks like a mess, Schaumburg makes sense not the bullpen at least not now
Maybe Strop has to pass a physical? How’s the groin?
No story officially out yet even though this story appears to be true.
Now we have a bookend to Colome as Strop tilts his hat in the opposite direction.
Back in Chicago but on the Cubs again
The WSox did the right thing in standing pat. This pandemic season has too much risk to mortgage the future for a WS win.
On the one hand we have the CDC finally getting up to speed with S Korea. The key factor in the spread is high viral load which means low congestion asymptomatic viral persons very likely won’t transmit the disease. That’s about 40% of positives.
Less than 6% of all COVID19 related deaths fell outside the high risk group. Simply put the COVID19 related deaths amount to a flu season for which there is no vaccine. Was that worth a shutdown costing 45 million jobs? At the very least a shutdown of that magnitude should be ruled out now. If MLB were to adopt viral measuring standards for posititves they could adjust the downtime players & teams face.
Some fans might be able to return to the ball parks.
America’s biggest mistake was it’s failure to screen high risk persons & enforce quarantines in the spring. She’s finally concentrating on viral load measuring during testing & trying to enforce quarantines now.
On the other hand, we have the Marlins, Cards, & Big 10. They show how quickly a group on a team can be shutdown for a lengthy period of time. They show how laxed the screening for high risk persons is. Dating back to February, that screening needed to be as tight as it could be & high risk persons should have been removed from consideration for sports play. The Big 10 shutdown sports on Aug 11 but continued to practice. About 1/3rd of the players testing positive have suffered heart related inflammation. Proper screening for high risk persons would’ve avoided that.
Can sports implement proper screening?
Kopech had his reasons for opting out but that decision likely placed a scarlet letter on him. The same can be said of Moncada. Any one who opted in & is complaining about weakness or decided to opt out is likely being placed on lists of high risk players that teams are managing. It’s not in a player’s best interest to publicize such weakness. The same can be said for college players with scholarships & potential pro signings. What’s worse is that these high risk lists of players getting compiled isn’t going to be just about COVID19. It’s going to be about all coronaviruses including the flu. Teams are going to associate their complications with COVID19 to really bad cases of the flu too.
Players are naturally going to lie then & offer feel good words. Screening must ignore all that and assume the worst. Body language & intense testing is the only thing that can be trusted when screening for high risk persons.
What do you thihk Hahn will do about Kopech & Moncada for 2021? He’s too smart not to screen them for high risk of complications due to coronavirus illnesses. If they are high risk that will affect both their contract negotiations and their rules of behavior
on the team. High risk persons will be singled out & treated differently.
There will no doubt be legal battles forthcoming.
Those who can not comply or are simply too great of a risk will be banned from play.
The risk is simply too great to both the team & the fans.
To the first part of your post, yes… it was not worth losing 45 million jobs. Not to mention devastating effects on mental health of an entire population. I read that 1 in 4 people between ages of 18 and 24 have had suicidal thoughts since March. Which is easy to believe, because I’ve spoken to people who have had them, as have I. And certainly not limited to that age demographic.
There are other stats that are being completely ignored. 2.8 million people died in 2018 (assume a few more in 2019). That means in 2020 and 2021, without COVID, we can expect approximately 5.6 million deaths of natural causes. Of the COVID death projection totals, how many of them are among the 5.6 million expected to die anyway within the next 2 years? COVID deaths so far are under 200K, which is about 7 percent of the expected death total for 2020 under normal circumstances. Does that justify all but shutting down every avenue of healthy social interaction for a whole population for 12 to 24 months? My mom died this summer, not COVID. Had she died a few months earlier it would not have been more tragic than the fact that I did not get to see her the last few months of her life due to restrictions. I spoke to two people this week with COVID family members, one with a male in his 70’s who was in poor health yet survived, and another of a woman who was 101 years old and survived! When is the last time an account like either of these made the news? Of course they wouldn’t, they don’t add to the fear and paranoia.
I don’t think a solution to a virus with this high a survival rate is to all but ruin the entire world for a couple of years with imposed restrictions that deny people’s social needs, put unprecedented numbers of people in financial hardship if not ruin, completely ignore the effects of all of that on the mental and emotional health of the population, and hope for the best. Nobody wants to live this way, if it can even be called living. I hope some more reasonable measures come forth, or the number of suicides among much younger people could dwarf even the most irresponsibly overstated COVID death projection numbers, that don’t factor in that between 5 and 6 million people will die over a two year period anyway, certainly many of whom are among the COVID projection numbers. Is this effort really saving lives to an extent that can justify the incredibly destructive cost of this insanity? The answer is pretty obvious for anyone with eyes to see and consideration of the greater good of all people, including the fact that everybody has basically lost 2020 as a year of their life. That’s 350 million years of life, or 4 million 75 year lifetimes. People are looking at the wrong numbers, and being manipulated so that they are afraid of the wrong things.
We’re all waiting to be told it is safe to start living again, as if the world has ever been a perfect and safe place. It’s just as safe as it has ever been for most people, right now. We need to recognize the costs and benefits as a country of all of this, not become obedient sheep with no backbone, common sense, or self esteem and lose most of what makes our lives worth living for a period of time for which there can be no rational justification.