Reynaldo Lopez probably shouldn’t have pitched on Thursday after waking up with soreness in his side. He didn’t tell the staff, and he almost didn’t tell them when they came out to visit him in the fifth inning. It took Jose Abreu giving him the third degree for Lopez to finally give in.
It’s hard to blame him, given how long he waited in Charlotte to get his shot with the Sox, but it’s a learning experience just the same. Today, the White Sox placed him on the disabled list with a strained back.
In his place, they called up Danny Farquhar to add a little bit of seasoning to the bullpen.
One of the things I wanted to watch in Lopez’s second start was how well he maintained his velocity in the second half of his start, as he came out with his hottest stuff early in his 2017 debut.
His velocity tailed off once again on Thursday, but more drastically — Baseball Savant’s chart shows it in reverse order for some reason -- and when Rick Renteria and Don Cooper saw him leaning on his changeup in the fifth inning, they went to the mound. They almost left without pulling him, but Abreu stepped in.
Jose Abreu on what happened on the mound with Reynaldo Lopez. Renteria originally only asked about his arm, shoulder. pic.twitter.com/B05ZyNSb8g— Colleen Kane (@ChiTribKane) August 18, 2017
The hope is that Lopez can return with a minimal amount of time missed, since he was able to go to the mound with it. For the time being, it assures Lucas Giolito a 25-man roster spot the rest of the way. He was originally set to start one of the White Sox’ two games against Minnesota on Monday with his status to be determined after, but he’ll now take Lopez’s start on Tuesday.
The revised Monday plans: Carson Fulmer is scheduled to start the opener in a likely 26th-man cameo, and Carlos Rodon will work the night shift.
As for Farquhar, he’ll be pitching for his second MLB team this season. The White Sox signed the 30-year-old righty to a minor-league deal in July after the Rays released him. He posted a 4.11 ERA over 37 games with Tampa Bay, but control problems — 22 walks to 33 strikeouts over 35 innings — made him a liability.
He joined the Sox organization at the same time as other veteran arms like Jean Machi, Mark Lowe and Al Alburquerque, and Farquhar beat them out by throwing eight strong appearances with the Charlotte Knights, racking up 12 strikeouts to eight baserunners over nine innings.
Farquhar’s had a couple nice seasons with a lot of strikeouts during an up-and-down six-year career. He’s fastball-changeup-curve, and the changeup made the 5-foot-9-inch right-hander more effective against left-handed hitters over his 1½ seasons with the Rays, which can lighten Aaron Bummer’s load.
Speaking of Renteria, Farquhar also appears to be pretty smart.
New Sox Danny Farquhar's fav player as a kid? Marlins infielder Rick Renteria. Grew up in Fla., Marlins fan.— Daryl Van Schouwen (@CST_soxvan) August 19, 2017