Royals: 3 pitchers whose stock fell during the 2019 season
With the lack of consistency from this Kansas City Royals pitcher, there may not be any room for him on the mound in 2020, at least in the rotation.
Jorge Lopez is another Kansas City Royals pitcher like Sparkman. Lopez has flashes of great pitching and provides hope that he is turning things around. Unfortunately, his inability to be consistent on the mound hurts him more than anything.
Lopez saw his time split in 2019, getting some starts throughout the season, but also coming out of the bullpen to relieve on multiple occasions. The best month for Lopez came in June where he saw no more than 2 innings in any game and held a monthly ERA of 3.27.
Strangely enough, and sadly enough, Lopez saw a range of monthly ERAs in 2019. Though they weren’t in numerical order, during the seven months of baseball Lopez had seven monthly ERAs each one starting with a different number, 3-9. In five different months, Lopez carried ERAs of 5.26 and higher.
The Royals were hurting for pitching during the season, but with numbers like this, Lopez can’t be the best option. Yet, he managed to find his way to the mound for 123.2 innings in 2019. Lopez ended the year with a 6.33 ERA, an FIP of 5.55, and earned 87 runs over those 123 innings. He did record 109 strikeouts and had the highest strikeouts per 9 innings of his career at 7.9, but that alone won’t save him.
When the Royals acquired Lopez, he looked to be a possible piece of the puzzle for a future Royals team. The more time he spends with the team, though, the less he looks like an important role player. Lopez could turn it around, and there is a good chance the Royals will want a better look at him in the spring, but he definitely took a hit on his stock in 2019.
It’s unlikely the Royals will make any drastic changes during the offseason, so there is every reason to believe the pitchers on this list could be seen fighting for their spot in spring training. After disappointing 2019 seasons from all three, though, they will have to work even harder to instill confidence in their pitching with the Royals organization.