Kansas City Royals: Finding a role for newly acquired Jorge Lopez
The Kansas City Royals traded Mike Moustakas to the Milwaukee Brewers in return for two prospects. Those being outfielder Brett Phillips and relief pitcher Jorge Lopez.
Fellow Kings of Kauffman contributor Tyler already detailed why Kansas City Royals fans should be excited about the return for Mike Moustakas. They received two players who both have experience at the Major League level already. For more information on Brett Phillips, who made his first start for the Royals today, check out this article.
Jorge Lopez is currently in the midst of his rookie season. Up until 2017, he was primarily a starter. But, he made the transition to a bullpen role and has found success. Granted, there has been a lot of movement in the Brewers club throughout the 2018 season.
Lopez made appearances with the Brewers in both 2015 and 2017 as well. In 2015, both of the games he appeared in, he started. In 2018, he was sent back and forth from Milwaukee to Colorado Springs on multiple occasions.
Jorge Lopez appeared in 10 games for the Milwaukee Brewers in the 2018 season. Through 19.2 innings of work, he yielded an ERA of 2.75. His K/BB rate of 1.15 isn’t something to be excited about.
Unlike Brett Phillips, he did not find his way onto the Kansas City Royals Top 30 Prospects list. And, it may be a while before he is even given a chance in the Majors within the Royals organization.
It is worth noting that he fared really well in the summer leagues, which is really what earned him opportunities with Milwaukee this season. He boasts an impressive curveball, as well as an upper 90s fastball.
Where will he fit in?
Though he has some starting experience, he will more likely be given chances in relief. Particularly middle inning relief, as he did with Milwaukee. What will be interesting, though, is seeing how it shakes out with some of the other talented young arms in the organization.
Because he has already used an option for the year, and is on the 40-man roster, it is likely he will see a few opportunities this season. If he continues to perform well, he may prove to be a vital piece of the Kansas City Royals rebuilt bullpen.