Lopez has made two appearances since joining the Kansas City bullpen May 29, giving up five runs on eight hits and two walks over seven innings while striking out nine.
Both of Lopez's outings have been of the multi-inning variety, an unsurprising development given that his pitch count was already built up from his time as a starter. Manager Ned Yost previously suggested that Lopez's move to relief would likely be a permanent move, and Glenn Sparkman's solid results in three starts since replacing Lopez in the rotation suggests that plan likely still remains in place. Fantasy managers in AL-only formats still holding Lopez can probably feel comfortable exploring other options at this point.
Manager Ned Yost said Lopez's move to the bullpen is likely long term, Jeffrey Flanagan of MLB.com reports. "I think he can be really good there," the skipper said.
Lopez was demoted to the bullpen after struggling to a 6.79 ERA and 1.57 WHIP through his first 11 appearances (10 starts) this season. The right-hander did fan 49 batters in 51.2 innings, so there's a chance his stuff plays in shorter stints, though he'll need to fix his home run (2.1 HR/9) and walk (3.7 BB/9) issues before he's trusted with high-leverage work. The Royals have yet to name Lopez's replacement in the rotation, though Glenn Sparkman is likely the team's top candidate.
The Royals aren't listing Lopez as one of their starting pitchers for the four-game series with the Rangers that begins Thursday, Lynn Worthy of The Kansas City Star reports.
Kansas City has confirmed six of its seven probable starters for the week, with the lone vacancy coming Wednesday in Chicago against the White Sox. Unless they're comfortable deploying Lopez on three days' rest with a limited pitch count, the Royals look poised to make a change with their fifth starter. If Lopez is in fact demoted to the bullpen or to Triple-A Omaha, it wouldn't come as much of a surprise given that he's posted a 6.79 ERA and 1.57 WHIP across 51.2 frames this season. Long reliever Glenn Sparkman would likely represent the top candidate to replace Lopez in the rotation if a change is made.
Lopez (0-6) took the loss in Game 2 of Saturday's doubeheader against the Yankees by allowing five runs on six hits over one inning. He struck out one and walked one.
Lopez allowed a single in a scoreless first inning, but things unraveled quickly in the second frame when he faced six batters without recording an out, leading to his exit. The 26-year-old remains winless over 11 outings and has a 6.79 ERA, 1.57 WHIP and 49:21 K:BB across 51.2 innings. Lopez lines up to pitch during the four-game series with the Rangers next weekend.
Lopez is starting Game 2 of Saturday's doubleheader against the Yankees, Jeffrey Flanagan of MLB.com reports.
Lopez was originally slated to pitch Sunday's series finale, but he'll toss the nightcap Saturday after Friday night's contest was postponed. Jakob Junis will draw the start in Game 1 of Saturday's doubleheader.
Lopez (0-5) took the loss Wednesday as the Royals fell 6-1 to the Rangers, giving up five runs on seven hits and two walks over 5.2 innings while striking out seven.
A two-run shot by the recently promoted Willie Calhoun in the first inning put Lopez in an early hole, and Kansas City's offense was never able to climb out of it. The right-hander has been taken deep 12 times in only 48.2 inning so far in 2019, leading to a rough 6.29 ERA despite his solid 46:19 K:BB. He'll look to finally get into the win column in his next start Tuesday in St. Louis.
Lopez (0-4) gave up six runs on six hits and three walks while striking out two through 2.1 innings in a loss to the Astros on Wednesday.
It was a night Lopez will want to forget as he allowed nine baserunners and three home runs in only 2.1 innings in the loss. The right-hander has given up at least four runs in each of his last five starts and this was his shortest outing of the season. The 26-year-old has a 0-4 record with a 6.07 ERA and 39:17 K:BB through eight starts this season. Lopez lines up to face the Rangers next week.
Lopez (0-3) took the loss Friday against the Tigers, allowing four runs on five hits and two walks across seven innings. He struck out six.
Lopez responded well after allowing three runs in the opening frame, surrendering just four baserunners (and one run) over the subsequent six frames. Unfortunately, Matthew Boyd was dialed in opposite Lopez, firing seven innings of two-run ball and sticking Lopez with his third loss of the season. The right-hander will carry a 5.09 ERA into his next start, which will come on the road against the Astros.
Lopez didn't factor into the decision in Saturday's 9-4 win over the Angels, allowing four runs on six hits and three walks over 3.2 innings while striking out two.
The right-hander got handed a 7-1 lead after three innings, but Lopez couldn't find the plate and threw only 37 of 77 pitches for strikes before getting the hook. He'll take a 5.08 ERA and 31:12 K:BB through 32.2 innings into his next start Thursday, at home against the Rays.
Lopez struck out six and gave up five runs (four earned) on eight hits and one walk over seven innings in a no-decision against the Yankees on Sunday.
Lopez was able to get through seven innings and was in line for the loss, but the Royals scored six runs in the eighth inning to get him off the hook. The 26-year-old continues to have problems with the long ball as he allowed a three-run homer to Clint Frazier in this contest. Lopez has given up seven home runs and has a 4.50 ERA over five starts this season and is expected to start against the Angels next Saturday.
Lopez (0-2) allowed four earned runs on eight hits and two walks while striking out 10 across six innings to take the loss Tuesday against the White Sox.
Lopez was taken deep three times -- twice by Yoan Moncada -- to sink his start Tuesday. He did generate 10 strikeouts on the strength of 23 called strikes and 14 swinging strikes. While it was a disappointing effort, Lopez entered Tuesday's start having logged two consecutive quality starts and has racked up 23 strikeouts across 23 innings pitched for the season.
Lopez surrendered two runs on three hits and two walks while striking out five over six innings Thursday against Seattle. He didn't factor into the decision.
Lopez cruised through the first five frames of his outing and entered the sixth inning with a 4-0 lead, but he'd allow a pair of runs on two hits and the Royals would cough up the lead in the later innings, preventing the 26-year-old from securing his first victory of the season. He owns a 3.71 ERA with 13 punchouts over 17 frames in his first three outings of the 2019 campaign.
Lopez gave up two runs (one earned) on five hits and three walks over six innings in a 7-4 loss to the Tigers on Saturday. He struck out three and did not factor into the decision.
Lopez bounced back from a subpar season debut and was in line for the victory after a three-run seventh inning from the Royals, only to see the bullpen allow five runs in the bottom of the frame. The 26-year-old lines up to start against the hot-hitting Mariners next Thursday.
Lopez (0-1) took the loss and surrendered four runs on six hits and a walk while striking out five over five innings Sunday against the White Sox.
Lopez made it through the first three innings of his outing unscathed, but things started to fall apart in the fourth when he allowed two runs on a pair of solo homers. He gave up two more runs in the sixth without recording an out, which, in the eyes of skipper Ned Yost, warranted his removal. While this likely wasn't the start to the season Lopez was looking for, he'll have a shot at redemption in his next scheduled outing Sunday against Detroit.
Lopez is expected to start the third game of the season March 31 against the White Sox, Lynn Worthy of The Kansas City Star reports.
There had been some speculation that Lopez would remain in extended spring training for his first turn in the rotation, but the Royals won't be following through with that plan. He'll enter the season as the third starter behind Brad Keller and Jake Junis, meaning his spot should be safe even after Danny Duffy returns from his shoulder injury.
Manager Ned Yost said Saturday that Lopez will likely stay at extended spring training after the Royals wrap up their Cactus League slate this weekend, Lynn Worthy of The Kansas City Star reports.
Lopez showed some flashes of promise late in 2018 with the Royals but hasn't taken a major step forward through his first five spring outings, posting a 4.41 ERA, 1.78 WHIP and 11:9 K:BB across 16.1 innings. Despite the underwhelming results, Lopez looks likely to fill a rotation spot for the rebuilding Royals, though Yost hasn't indicated when the right-hander might be ready to make his first turn. At this point, only Brad Keller and Jake Junis are locked in as starters for the first two games of the season, but Lopez could be summoned when a third starter is required March 31 versus the White Sox. If the Royals look go with another pitcher as their No. 3 starter, Lopez may not be summoned to the majors until April 9 or 10, when the team would first require a fourth and fifth man in the rotation.
Lopez is expected to open the season in the Royals' starting rotation, Rustin Dodd of The Athletic reports.
With Ian Kennedy being shifted to the bullpen, it sounds like Lopez is in line to break camp in Kansas City's starting rotation. The right-hander has been solid this spring, compiling a 1.88 ERA, 1.33 WHIP and 9:6 K:BB through four appearances (14.1 innings).
Lopez allowed one run on five hits while striking out five over 4.1 innings against the Padres on Sunday.
All five strikeouts came via swinging third strikes, Lynn Worthy of the Kansas City Star reports. Lopez, acquired from Milwaukee in last year's Mike Moustakas trade, is making a strong case for the starting rotation with just two earned runs allowed and a 7:1 K:BB through 9.1 Cactus League innings. There are no real locks in the Kansas City rotation; Ian Kennedy, Danny Duffy (shoulder), Brad Keller, Jakob Junis, Homer Bailey and Heath Fillmyer are all candidates along with Lopez.
Royals manager Ned Yost said Monday that Lopez would likely be shut down for the final week of the 2018 season, Jeffrey Flanagan of MLB.com reports.
The report doesn't specify why Lopez will be unavailable, but it's likely just a matter of the Royals not wanting to overwork the right-hander after he suffered a rib contusion when he ran into teammate Hunter Dozier in his Sept. 14 outing. Lopez was able to make his subsequent turn through the rotation Thursday against the Tigers, but was lit up for seven runs on eight hits over one inning before getting pulled. While it appears Lopez's season will end on a sour note, he flashed some potential during his brief run in the Kansas City rotation, highlighted by a perfect-game bid Sept. 8 against the Twins that was broken up in the top of the ninth inning. The 25-year-old should be given every opportunity next spring to claim a full-time starting role with the big club.
Lopez (2-5) suffered the loss against the Tigers on Thursday, allowing seven earned runs and eight hits over one-plus innings. He didn't allow a walk or record a strikeout.
Lopez left his previous start early due to injury, and he left Thursday's contest early due to poor performance. He allowed three home runs and wasn't able to record an out in the second inning before being pulled from the game. His ERA ballooned to 5.03 after the rough outing, and he'll look to bounce back in his next scheduled start, which is currently slated for Thursday against the Indians.
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|More Pitching Stats|
|Minor League Pitching Stats|
|2013||AFA-San Jose Giants||3||1||1.57||14||14||0||0||0||68.2||48||20||12||1||1||39||95|
|2013||AFX-Wisconsin Timber Rat||7||8||5.23||25||22||0||0||2||117.0||120||78||68||13||9||48||92|
|2014||AFA-Brevard County Manat||10||10||4.58||25||25||1||0||0||137.2||144||80||70||12||4||46||119|
|2014||AA-Richmond Flying Squi||6||7||3.79||23||22||0||0||0||90.1||78||42||38||7||1||61||111|
|2015||AA-Richmond Flying Squi||3||4||3.29||36||11||0||0||0||63.0||47||26||23||2||7||66||73|
|2016||AAA-Colorado Springs Sky||1||7||6.81||17||16||0||0||0||79.1||101||66||60||12||5||55||66|
|2016||AA-Richmond Flying Squi||4||11||5.04||23||23||0||0||0||109.0||110||72||61||8||10||67||86|
|2017||AAA-Sacramento River Cat||1||2||2.76||24||0||0||0||6||29.1||24||9||9||1||1||13||39|