(CBS) The White Sox are calling up right-hander Reynaldo Lopez from Triple-A Charlotte and will have him start against the Royals on Friday, general manager Rick Hahn said Tuesday afternoon.
The 23-year-old Lopez will be the second high-profile prospect to debut for the White Sox amid their rebuild, after second baseman Yoan Moncada joined the team in the third week of July. Acquired from the Nationals in the Adam Eaton trade last December, Lopez is 6-7 with a 3.79 ERA, 1.24 WHIP and 131 strikeouts in 121 innings across 22 starts at Charlotte this season.
Lopez is rated as the No. 59 prospect by Baseball America. He made his big league debut for the Nationals in 2016, when he went 5-3 with a 4.91 ERA and 1.57 WHIP in 44 innings.
“It’s important, as with any of these young premium-type prospects as they come to Chicago, Reynaldo — like Yoan before him and others who will follow him — is by no means a finished product,” Hahn said. “There’s still going to be some development that occurs here in Chicago and although he’s answered all the questions we have for him at the Triple-A level, it’s now time to challenge him a little further with big league hitters on an every-fifth-day basis.
“In the end, that last stage of development has to happen at the big league level, where the speed of the game is a little quicker and obviously the hitters are a little bit more advanced.”
The current plan is for Lopez to be a member of the rotation throughout the rest of the season, though Hahn added the White Sox will adjust his workload if needed. It’s also “conceivable” Chicago could utilize a six-man rotation in September, Hahn said. Lopez’s 121 innings this season are the most of his professional career.
Right-hander Mike Pelfrey will move to the White Sox’s bullpen with Lopez joining the rotation.