After a dominant start on Sunday, Reynaldo Lopez showed, once again, that he is ready for the next step. The White Sox No. 6 prospect threw 7 innings, gave up only 2 hits, 1 earned run, and struck out 12 for the Charlotte Knights. Over his last 7 outings, Lopez has delivered 5 quality starts and his stats will make fans’ jaws drop. With a 1.59 ERA and 28 K/3 BB ratio during this period, it leaves many wondering, what more does Lopez have to prove at the minor league level? The answer is nothing. It’s easy to argue that Lopez was ready for a promotion all season, but especially now more than ever.

With Jose Quintana traded to that team from the North Side, Carlos Rodon has taken over as the “ace” of an otherwise unimpressive White Sox rotation. A rotation consisting of pitchers like Derek Holland, Mike Pelfrey, and James Shields, who have been taxing on a bullpen that could see itself become depleted after the July 31st deadline. With more trades inevitably on the way, roster spots will open up and so will opportunities for future South Siders. Reynaldo Lopez would be a near perfect addition to the White Sox pitching staff once one of these openings arise. The righty has the ability to eat up a lot of innings, giving the bullpen arms some much needed rest. Plus, his electric fastball will be tough on opposing hitters and give fans something to look forward to every five days. In addition to Lopez, Lucas Giolito is another White Sox pitcher who will see his time in the not so distant future. He will likely be joining No. 1 prospect Yoan Moncada in Chicago, during the latter months of the season.

When should Sox fans expect to see these prospects? Well, it depends on if and when the White Sox pull the trigger on potential trades. With rumors now swirling about Todd Frazier and David Robertson, some openings could be coming sooner rather than later. However, to play it safe, fans should expect to see Reynaldo Lopez and Yoan Moncada wearing White Sox uniforms by early August, with others following behind during late August into September. While the results on the field might not always come in the form of a win, fans need to remember these guys are still very young. There most definitely will be times of slumps and struggles for these youngsters, but fans should not panic during these times. It’s all part of the learning curve at the Major League level. Lopez, Moncada, and Giolito still have plenty of time to develop as they are all in their early twenties. This second half of the season begins a very exciting time on the South Side, where fans will finally get to see the next generation of White Sox baseball. Right now, all we can do is “sit back, relax, and strap it down.”


Photo: Charlotte Knights (@KnightsBaseball)