June 13, 2024

Reynaldo López has exceeded expectations in 2024, surprising many with his performance.

When the Atlanta Braves were in need of a hero, they found one in an unexpected place. On November 20, 2023, the Braves acquired López, a free-agent pitcher who had become available after stints with three different teams the previous season.

While many anticipated López to primarily serve as a reliever, the Braves management, led by Alex Anthopoulos and Brian Snitker, had different ideas. They decided to give him an opportunity as a starting pitcher, despite his recent bullpen roles with the Cleveland Guardians and the Los Angeles Angels, who had acquired him after he was traded by the Chicago White Sox.

Despite his bullpen roles in the 2023 season, López had spent most of his time as a starter for the White Sox in 2021.

He hadn’t started for an entire season since 2019, where he ended with a 10-15 record and a 5.38 ERA. With uncertainties about their fifth starter during the offseason, the Braves decided to give López a chance.

During Spring Training, López competed with A.J. Smith-Shawver and Bryce Elder for the fifth spot in the rotation and ultimately secured it.

Carrying that confidence into the regular season, López has emerged as the Braves’ top starter so far. In his two starts, he boasts a 1-0 record with an impressive 0.75 ERA, allowing only seven hits and one earned run across 12 innings while striking out 11 and walking five.

López has effectively filled the role as the team’s fifth starting pitcher, and his importance has only grown with the news of Spencer Strider’s season-ending injury.


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