PHOENIX – The Orioles are hoping to recapture the magic with right-handed reliever Jorge López. Added by the Orioles today on waivers from Miami, López has not yet reported to the team, but he is going to and the O’s hope he can help them win the American League East.
Being acquired after the cutoff date for postseason eligibility, López will not be able to pitch in the playoffs with Baltimore.
Between the Twins and Marlins this year, López is 6-2 with a 6.13 ERA and 1.574 WHIP over 47 innings. He has a 3.8 walk rate and 6.7 strikeout rate. But when last an Oriole, he was a bullpen weapon who made the 2022 AL All-Star team.
“You know, Lopy is someone a lot of us in that clubhouse are really close with,” manager Brandon Hyde said today in the visitor’s dugout. “Had some really good moments. First half last year was the best closer in baseball. What he did making the All-Star team. It was great to see him a couple of months ago in Minnesota. You know we are hoping he can help us down the stretch.”
They helped López once go from struggling starter to top reliever and the Orioles hope to get him going again when he joins the team.
“I hope so," said Hyde. "We are not going to know until he gets here but there are a lot of people in that clubhouse that care about him a lot. So hopefully he will feel at home and pitch well for us. He's got a huge arm. We know a lot about him."
The Orioles' Ryan Mountcastle, who was a late lineup scratch Friday due to illness, is not in the lineup for tonight’s game.
“Feeling a little bit better. Still under the weather. Hopefully he is available off the bench tonight,” Hyde said.
Hyde was asked it if was something involving vertigo again for Mountcastle and he responded saying: “Hopefully he is available off the bench tonight.”
Since he returned July 9 from the injured list, Mountcastle has slashed .357/.429/.564/.993 in 42 games.
Hyde had no further update on All-Star closer Félix Bautista, who is on the injured list with a right UCL injury. He is with the team on this road trip and was in the clubhouse today but was not made available for interviews. He did some stretching with the team this afternoon.
Meanwhile, right-hander Tyler Wells, who was optioned to the minors with Double-A Bowie on July 30, has not pitched in eight days. He moved to Triple-A Norfolk recently and pitched scoreless innings Aug. 23 and Aug. 25, but has not pitched since that last game.
"He's just got a little bit of arm fatigue. He's being transitioned to the bullpen role. Just didn't bounce back as we were hoping. Hopefully he is out there soon,” Hyde said of Wells, who has an ERA of 2.53 in 10 2/3 innings between Bowie and Norfolk.
The O's starter today is right-hander Kyle Bradish (9-6, 3.03 ERA), who is going to make his first career start against the Diamondbacks. An Arizona native, Bradish attended Millenium High School in Goodyear, roughly 20 miles west of Phoenix.
Bradish has a 1.59 ERA his last four starts. Over his 13 games since mid June, he is 7-4 with a 2.23 ERA.
"Hopefully he pitches well," said Hyde. "We didn't play our best game last night. Hopefully we can respond tonight. He has been throwing the ball so well these last three or four months."