Orioles Trade Closer to George Lopez’s Twins

10:11 am: The Twins and the Orioles have announced business.

9:36 am: The Twins and the Orioles are in agreement on the trade that will send the All-Stars closer George Lopez from Baltimore to Minnesota, as stated earlier Andy Kostka of the Baltimore Sun. Twins are sending left-handed pitching prospect cad povichright hand Yenier Canoe And a couple of pitching prospects to Baltimore in return, MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reports, right handed batsman John Nunez and lefty Juan Rojaso The other two names in the deal are, Tweets ESPN’s Jeff Passon.
George Lopez |  D. Ross Cameron - USA TODAY SPORTS

29-year-old Lopez has enjoyed one of the most Notable Changes in Major League Baseball This season, going from a waiver claim at the risk of losing his roster spot in Baltimore last season to an All-Star for the first time, has made his way up the ranks of the sport’s elite reliever. The former second-round pick and top prospect never took off as a starting pitcher, but has excelled since moving to the bullpen on a full-time basis at the end of last season. Thus far in 2022, Lopez has bounced 48 innings with a 1.68 ERA, 27.6% strike rate, 8.7% walk rate and 60% ground-ball rate which ranks fifth in baseball among MLB relievers.

It’s a small sample to be sure, but Lopez’s move last August served as a signal for an impending breakout. He began to heavily support his sinker on his four-seamer, seeing both his ground-ball rate and velocity jump substantially, and with only two runs, a 10-to-2 K/BB ratio and a 66.7 Tossed 8 1/3 innings. % grounder rate. Dating back to last year’s shift in the bullpen, Lopez has a 1.75 ERA, 27.9% strike rate, 8.3% running rate, 61% grounder rate, and an average velocity of 98 mph.

The Twins are clearly confident in their ability to keep up with this new production, and adding to their appeal is the fact that Lopez is controlled all the way through the 2024 season. He’s earning a very affordable $1.5MM this year, so he’ll barely impact 2022 payrolls and won’t break the bank in 2023 or 2024.

Lopez gives the twins a power-armed close to pair with flamethrowing rookie john duran and breakout right griffin jacks Behind what has been an otherwise terrifying bullpen. Like Duran and Jacques, Lopez gives the manager rocco baldelli Flexibility to know that he can cover more than one innings if needed. Eleven of Lopez’s 44 appearances this season set a record for him to be dismissed at least four times.

The Orioles return title for Lopez is 22-year-old Povich, who has been selected by Minnesota in the 2021 draft from the University of Nebraska. A relatively soft-tossing lefty with good command in college, Povich’s velocity jumped in the 94-96 mph range when shifting to the pro ball. He has made 16 starts this season with the Twins’ Class-A Advanced Affiliate, a 4.46 ERA pitch but a far more impressive 31.8% strike rate, 7.7% walk rate and 44.3% ground-ball rate. He ranked 22nd in the Twins Farm System and 21st in Baseball America on both FanGraph and MLB.com. Each of those scouting reports offered the Povich as at least one back-of-rotation arm, with the potential to add more ceiling due to their projectable frame and the potential for further velocity gains.

Cano, 28, received a $750K signing bonus as an international free agent when he left Cuba in 2019. He made his big league debut this season and surrendered 14 runs in 13 2/3 innings, with a heater blazing average of 95.8 mph. way. Wrighty, 6’4, has had a far more impressive run at Triple-A St. Paul, working in 23 2/3 innings with the Saints at 1.90 ERA, 28.1% strike rate and 6.7% walk rate.

This is the first time in Cano’s career that he has managed to run a solid command simultaneously. He has played in 11 of the 70 big league hitters he has faced (15.7%) and, when looking at his career as a whole, has given free passes to 12.2% of his opponents since signing in Minnesota. has been issued. Fangraphs ranked him 38th among twin prospects earlier this year, labeling him as a potential single-inning reliever with command issues but an effective splitter.

Nez is a 21-year-old right-winger who has spent the year with the Minnesota ally in the Florida Complex League so far. He has started the 4.85 era with a 36.2% strike rate and a solid 7.7% walk rate. He’s not particularly young for the level, but it has an impressive K-BB profile, even if the bottom-line ERA has been increased by an average of .362 on balls in play and a 55.2% left-on base rate.

Rojas, meanwhile, is pitching with the same FCL ally, despite being three years younger than both Nunez and the average age of players in the league. He has turned in 3.60 ERAs in 30 innings showing outstanding rate stats: 32.4% strikeouts, 3.4% walks, 48.6% ground-balls. Obviously, he and Nez are both very long-playing plays, as neither has the figures to snuff the Major Leagues for several seasons. Still, adding a pair of live-armed prospects to the lower tiers of the system would ideally add some minor league depth of o and upside, when the upper-level group of current top prospects begins to consolidate themselves in the Majors. have make.

Baltimore won’t immediately rank anyone among the game’s best prospects — or even currently among the best of the Twins’ best farmhands — but Povich is the type of projectable college arm with some recent helium that will soon find itself. Can place in the top of the Orioles. Weapon. Still, it’s hard not to like the deal from the Twins’ vantage point, as they managed to satisfy a desperate need in the bullpen for the current and subsequent two seasons without robbing the top tiers of their farming system. This should prove important when looking to strengthen the rotation and perhaps deepen the bullpen and bench in the final hours that reach the deadline.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.