Reynaldo Lopez ready for Friday return to White Sox rotation

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MINNEAPOLIS – Reynaldo Lopez is ready to return to the White Sox starting rotation after missing a couple of starts with discomfort in his back.

The 23-year-old right-hander who made one good start and one bad one after getting called up from Class AAA Charlotte, the latter halted by the highly regarded prospect’s back issue he failed to speak up about before making the appearance, is set to start Friday when the Sox open a 10-game home stand against the Rays.

The Sox list TBA is the starter Friday but “tentatively it looks like it might be Lopey,’’ manager Rick Renteria said. “His side [session Tuesday of 30-35 pitches] went very, very well.’’

Renteria indicated a six-man rotation in September doesn’t appear to be a possibility, which probably has left-hander Derek Holland [ERA] looking over his shoulder. Holland, who took a 7-13 record and 6.05 ERA into his start against the Twins Wednesday, would seem to be the odd man out with Carlos Rodon, Thursday starter Miguel Gonzalez, Lucas Giolito, James Shields and Lopez the likely five in barring a trade of Gonzalez before the Thursday 11 p.m. waiver trade deadline.

Lopez said he is 100 percent and feeling no pain.

“I’m feeling good,’’ he said through interpreter Billy Russo. “After I threw in the bullpen yesterday they were surprised because of the way I was throwing the ball and they said, ‘You are feeling really good, right?’ and I told them, ‘Yes, I’m feeling good.’ ’’

Lopez’ velocity was down in the outing against the Rangers because of his health.

“Next time I’m going to be 100 percent with my velocity,’’ he said. “That was one of the issues in my last outing but right now I’m feeling good

“Once I start throwing in the games again I will probably be as good or better than I was before.’’

It was a lesson learned, Lopez said, and something that won’t happen again.

“I learned if you are not feeling 100 percent before an outing you have to let them know because you’re probably going to hurt yourself like I did. I hope that I never have to pass through a moment like that again.’’

Lopez allowed two runs over six innings in his first start against the Royals in his Sox debut on Aug. 11 at Guaranteed Rate Field. Six days later he allowed six earned runs over 4 1/3 innings at Texas.

Lopez was 6-7 with a 3.79 ERA and 131 strikeouts over 121 innings for Class AAA Charlotte.

Holland, who will be a free agent after the season, allowed one run over six runs in his last outing, against the Twins last Thursday. But he is 2-7 with an 8.67 ERA and .304 opponents batting average over his last 12 starts.


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