Ryan Bukowiecki is a student at the Illinois Media School and a contributor to The D & Davis Show and WARR where he follows the White Sox
After a fun 3-game sweep of the AL-leading Astros last week, things looked up for the Chicago White Sox.
Since then, things have started to sour with a 5-game losing streak filling up most of this week. The season has a little over 6 weeks left and the Sox will only be able to look forward to upsetting the playoff chances of viable teams as they whittle down to the five who will play in October — of course there will be the fun of getting a look at some of the prospects being called up in September as well.
Sox fans have been served up another top prospect to examine with Reynaldo Lopez inserted into the starting rotation. Lopez has real potential and flashed exactly that in his first start, but Lopez was unable to finish his second start due to injury. Good things still are happening outside of the major league club, the seeds are growing in the minors as a couple important players have moved up within the system.
Reynaldo Lopez: Tale Of 2 Starts
In case you do not remember Reynaldo Lopez, here is a quick background story. Lopez was an underrated piece in the Adam Eaton trade, his scouting report shows potential to be a star and he flashed that in his first start.
Against the Royals on Friday the 11th, Lopez went 6 innings, giving up 2 earned runs off of 4 hits with 3 walks and 6 strikeouts — not bad to start off your career with a quality start but things didn’t work out as well in the next start. Thursday, Lopez had to leave the game in the 4th with rib soreness, his day closed with 4.1 IP surrendering 5 ER off of 5 H with 4 BB and 6 SO.
The Sox remain optimistic that Lopez may not miss his next start. Hopefully, Lopez will not be out long, he has been another positive to a long first year in the South Side rebuild.
Moncada Getting Hang Of Majors?
The early struggles at the Major League level for Yoan Moncada have been discussed and noted plenty. Part of the discussion centers around the belief that an inconsistent, at the least, start is to be expected from a young hitter getting his groove at the top level.
All these discussions will have to factor in a very nice August that Moncada has had so far. In his 56 plate appearances, Yoan’s slash line of .261 AVG/.393 OBP/.435 SLG for an OPS of .828 is a positive sign. Yes, Moncada has been up and down and striking out higher (36.3 K% this season) than anyone would like; but Moncada is an important prospect for this team and any successes should be weighed heavier than any failures…for now.
On The Farm
As things have deteriorated at the major league level, the opposite can be said in the farm system.
First off there’s the call ups of Eloy Jimenez and Zack Collins from High A to Double A Birmingham. Eloy has been on an absolute tear in High A, in his 29 games he had a whopping slash line of .345 AVG/.410 OBP/.682 SLG for an OPS of 1.092 with 8 HRs and 32 RBIs. That is doing some work, earning the call up on Wednesday.
In his debut with the Barons, Jimenez went 2 for 4 with a solo HR and a double. This kid feels like he could be special and he has answered the call thus far.
Alongside Jimenez was teammate Zack Collins, who made his Double A Birmingham debut on the same night as Jimenez’s debut. Collins is considered the catcher of the future and has struggled at times this season at High A.
Collins’ season picked up big time in August though. In just 48 plate appearances he had a .343 AVG /.500 OBP /.686 SLG with an OPS of 1.186. In Zack’s debut for the Barons he hit a long solo shot with a BB and 2 SO. The Barons are loaded with talent as currently they have Michael Kopech (more on him in a minute) combined with Collins and Jimenez…the seeds are growing.
Kopech definitely deserves a shout out for his dominance at Birmingham. His start on the 12th was great as he went 7 IP giving up 3 H, 0 ER, 2 BB and striking out 10. Before that start, his last five have been just as fantastic, averaging a 0.79 ERA with 44 SO and just 5 BB.
It won’t be much longer before Kopech is pitching for Triple A Charlotte (ed. note – not long at all, check the Giolito link below) and if he keeps up this dominance then it won’t be long until he is at the major league club.
Back Page News
- Lucas Giolito made an impressive start on Wednesday, going 6 IP and giving up 7 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, and 7 SO. Giolito has been pitching well as of late and has been established as the next big name to be called up by the Sox as the team has announced he will be starting this Monday when the Sox return home to face the Twins.
- On Sunday the 13th the Sox made another deal in sending recently acquired bullpen arm Tyler Clippard to the Houston Astros before the August 31st waiver trade deadline. The Sox will receive cash or a player to be named later.
- The Sox are still battling for the 1st pick in next year’s draft. Currently they are 2 games back of the last place Phillies.
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