1. Reynaldo Lopez
When’s the last time you checked the trends on White Sox ex-starter/current reliever Reynaldo Lopez. Assuming that extremely loud noise was every reader in unison screaming, “Never!” we can just cover it here.
On the season, the 28-year-old Lopez (free agent after 2023) has a 4-2 record with a 3.25 ERA in almost exclusively relief appearances (30 outings, one start). The rotation dream is over, but Lopez has clearly been getting his sea legs under him as the season has progressed. In his past 15 games, he’s whiffed 23 men in 18.1 innings with a 2.95 ERA. Last seven games? 1.86 in 9.2 innings with 14 strikeouts.
The Statcast metrics bear out Lopez’s dominance as well; he’s in the upper-echelon “reds” in every predictive metric except hard-hit percentage and average exit velocity, though perhaps Matt Blake could help with that.
The White Sox will likely have a hard time stomaching a fall from grace that leaves them a seller at the deadline, and might have difficulty coming to grips with reality. Truth is, the Sox possess a wildly underperforming roster equally capable of catching fire/ripping off 10 straight and falling out of the mix entirely thanks to Tony La Russa’s bad vibes. A hybrid re-tool might be in their best interest, too, and the Yankees could use that to their advantage to pick off a surging reliever.