Well a lot of us were wondering when it’d happen and it turns out that today was the answer...
The Royals have reinstated Jorge Lopez from the Family Medical Emergency list and designated him for assignment.— Jeffrey Flanagan (@FlannyMLB) August 7, 2020
Jorge Lopez came to the Royals in 2018 in a trade for Royals third base slugger, Mike Moustakas, along with Brett Phillips. Both Lopez and Phillips seemed to have legitimate major league upside at the time and most Royals fans were sad to see Moose go, but generally happy with the haul in return. Lopez in particular showed a lot of promise in the Milwaukee bullpen that season with the upside of a starting pitcher in need of consistent work.
Unfortunately that potential was never reached in a Royals uniform over the following season and a half, carrying a 6.34 ERA over 157.2 IP. Lopez did flash in a near perfect game against the Twins in 2018 and the Royals kept raving that Jorge Lopez had some of the best (if not the best) stuff in the organization. So some of us were still ready to give him another chance in the bullpen, where failed starters with stuff go to contribute.
Lopez entered the 2020 season as a final chance to prove he actually was part of the future. After getting beaten around in Spring Training and Summer Camp though, Lopez entered the season on seemingly very thin ice. In the 3rd game of the season against Cleveland, manager Mike Matheny announced that the Royals would be having a “bullpen game” instead of a traditional starting pitcher.
Newly acquired youngster, Ronald Bolanos, got the start and grinded for 2 runs over 2 innings. Lopez was handed the reins to meet the top of the Cleveland lineup that immediately put up two more runs in just three batters’ time. Lopez was taken out before he could finish the inning, and that is likely the last time he pitches in a Royals uniform. Five days later the Royals placed Lopez on the bereavement/family medical emergency list on and today designated him for assignment without a corresponding roster addition as he was not officially on the roster at the time.
Lopez will likely pass through waivers and either accept the assignment or opt to enter free agency and sign with another team. Either way, best of luck to Jorge.