CHICAGO – Reynaldo Lopez needs a break, and he’s going to get one.
Lopez showed so much promise in 2018 – his first full season in the White Sox’s rotation – but the young pitcher completed a disastrous first half Thursday with another forgettable start.
After his final start before the All-Star break, Lopez is 4-8, and his 6.34 ERA is the highest in the majors.
“A few things have changed from last year to this year,” Lopez said through an interpreter. “At this point, after a really bad first half, there’s not much I can say about that. Starting today, you’re going to see a different pitcher going forward for the second half of the season.
“What is done is done. There’s nothing else that I can do to change what is done. I can do different things to get better and to be a better pitcher for the year, and that’s what I’m going to do.”
In Thursday’s 11-5 loss to the Detroit Tigers at Guaranteed Rate Field, Lopez retired the first nine hitters in order.
The 25-year-old righty fell apart after that and wound up allowing seven runs (six earned) in 51/3 innings.
Manager Rick Renteria said Lopez is staying in the Sox’s starting five.
“There’s nothing in our minds right now, that I’m aware of, that we’re going to do,” Renteria said. “He’s going to continue to work, try to make the adjustments that are necessary. Some of it is simply more mental approach. Some of the physical things that [pitching coach Don Cooper] was talking about in the ballgame, you could see when he’s not getting back behind the ball. But those are all correctable. You’ve got to just keep battling.”
When the Sox used the No. 4 overall pick in the 2018 draft to select Oregon State star Nick Madrigal, they raved about the second baseman’s ability to make contact.
Now playing with Double-A Birmingham after opening the season with high A Winston-Salem, Madrigal struck out only eight times in his first 317 plate appearances.
“Even in college, I feel like on Friday nights we’d see great pitching, so the transition to pro baseball – there’s definitely a lot more quality arms on a daily basis, but I feel like there hasn’t been anything I haven’t seen yet, as far as velocity or different offspeed pitches,” Madrigal said after being voted the Sox’s co-player of the month for June.
Kade McClure played football at Mentor High School outside Cleveland, and Mitch Trubisky was the quarterback.
Trubisky now is with the Bears, and McClure is a promising starting pitcher in the Sox’s minor league system.
“I would love to play for the White Sox and be in Chicago while Mitch is still in town,” McClure said. “I’d have a free place to stay, so I can’t complain about that.”
After making eight starts for Winston-Salem last season and going 3-1 with a 3.02 ERA, McClure had left knee surgery and missed the rest of the year.
The 6-foot-7 righty is back up and running, and McClure was voted the Sox’s minor league pitcher of the month after going 1-1 with a 2.12 ERA in five June starts with Winston-Salem.
“I’m at 13 months right now after surgery,” said McClure, a sixth-round draft pick out of Louisville in 2017. “Feeling great and doing the things I did prior to having surgery, but even stronger. It was a long road, but I’m glad to have that behind me now.”