Along with Jimmy Lambert succeeding in a bullpen role, Reynaldo Lopez's emergence as a reliable reliever was a rare bright spot for the 2022 Chicago White Sox. Lopez has pitched in parts of six seasons with the Pale Hose, and the results have been very mixed.
He began his tenure as a full-time starter in 2018 the initial results showed promise. But it didn’t last and he ended up spending a large portion of 2021 in Triple-A. The Dominican hurler was an enigma and had few expectations entering the season. However, he was a revelation in 2022 and had an impressive year out of the bullpen.
Reynaldo Lopez's 2022 Season
Lopez did get off to a bit of a shaky start. By June 2, he had pitched 22 innings and was sporting a 4.50 ERA. An eighth-inning relief appearance on that day against the Blue Jays went sour as he allowed four runs and recorded no outs. The White Sox deficit went from one to five, ending any chance at a legitimate comeback.
But instead of that outing sending his season into a tailspin, Lopez bounced back in a big way. From that point on, he was simply dominant. The 28-year-old tossed 43.1 innings to the tune of a 1.87 ERA the rest of the way. He allowed just one home run the entire season. Lopez fanned 47 and issued only five walks in that span.
Overall, it was a breakout year for Lopez. It's safe to say that he’s now a reliever and has carved out a role for himself as a high-leverage pitcher.
Final Grade: A
What's On Tap Next?
Reynaldo Lopez can become a free agent after the 2023 season, during which he will likely have a prominent role in the bullpen. If he can continue this type of success, don’t be surprised to see the Chicago White Sox lock him into an extension.