Reynaldo López is back with the Chicago White Sox.
The team announced a flurry of roster moves ahead of its game against the visiting Houston Astros to start the second half Friday night on the South Side, and among them was the return of López, a mainstay of the rebuilding years who failed to make the big league club out of spring training.
For the most part, Friday's moves represented a retooling of the bullpen, with Aaron Bummer returning from his stay on the injured list and both Jace Fry and Matt Foster sent to Triple-A Charlotte. López, too, will pitch as part of the White Sox relief corps. That's despite the 27-year-old López doing all his pitching as a starter this season at Charlotte, where he posted a 7.62 ERA in 39 innings across 10 starts.
López, at one point during the White Sox rebuild, laid claim to the title of the team's most promising young starting pitcher. But after a solid 2018 season, he struggled to find consistency in 2019 and 2020, owning a combined 5.52 ERA in 41 starts across those two years. He entered this spring with a chance to win the final spot in the big league rotation, but Carlos Rodón ran away with that job en route to a no-hitter and an All-Star first half.
Before his 2021 season started in the minor leagues, López had surgery on both his corneas to correct a vision issue.
While López making his return to the major league mound is of obvious interest for those still rooting for the young right-hander, Bummer's return is of the greatest import to the White Sox as they continue to chase a championship this season.
Bummer's had some tough sledding and some really tough luck this season, but he started to get things back on track right before hitting the injured list, lowering his ERA from 4.30 to 3.26 thanks to an active streak of seven outings without allowing an earned run.
Foster was supposed to be an integral part of the back end of what was supposed to be a dominant White Sox relief unit. But he's struggled and goes down to Triple-A with a 6.15 ERA.
Though the White Sox bullpen has not lived up to its own sky-high preseason expectations to this point, its 3.92 ERA ranks fifth in the American League and 11th in the majors.