While the White Sox may not have many bright spots in 2018, there is one that stands out for sure: starting pitcher Reynaldo Lopez. Even though he is only pitching in his first full major league season, Lopez has dominated his fair share of starts. How many times has he overwhelmed the opposition? Let’s take a look through the lens of Magnum Start Value (MSV) to find out.
To begin this combimetrics piece, I want to divulge that some of the rules are being broken in regards to certain portions of MSV (yearly statistics-using them before the end of a campaign). However, Lopez has pitched a significant amount of the season, therefore his start total is at a number that can be analyzed in Magnum Start Value.
So what are some strong suits of Lopez’s MSV totals? He has tossed a Magnum Start in every month of the season outside of July, however, he did go 7.2 innings versus the Royals in those four weeks. Had he not given up two runs in the eighth inning, Lopez would have been credited with a quality start in that outing.
Moving on to his Yearly Magnum Percentage (YMP), Lopez is throwing an MS nearly one-third of the time he starts a ballgame (30.4% to be exact). On top of that, Lopez has a Quality Start Total (QST) of thirteen, meaning his Yearly Quality Percentage (YQP) is 56.5%. If you want to evaluate his best month via MO-Dot (May), 66.7% are in the Monthly Minima Percentage (MMP) category while 33.3% would be regarded as Median Percentage Monthly (MPM).
For those who enjoy traditional statistics regarding Lopez, here are some relevant numbers on the Sox young righty. His average start is around six innings, and when you calculate his 4.30 ERA into the fact that a six-inning quality start equates to 4.50, Lopez typically throws a quality start when he heads to the bump.
One area Lopez could improve would be allowing baserunners. His WHIP is 1.35, which is not dominant by any stretch of the imagination, and when you compile his 4.30 ERA on top of it, Lopez has been average in some ways this season. He could also strike hitters out at a higher rate, which can be seen by his 6.35 K/9. The last number is especially disturbing when you take into account the fact that Lopez throws in excess of 96 MPH when he rears back at times, meaning he needs to improve his command.
Lopez may have front-line starter talent but has yet to harness his skill set at this point. As you can by his MSV scores see he does have the ability to go deep into ballgames, however, Lopez has a ways to go prior to becoming an ace at the big league level. So while optimism is abound regarding Lopez, temper it a bit if you expect him to be a Cy Young winner next season.
All in all, Lopez is going to be a major part of the White Sox success once they start winning a significant amount of baseball games. Even though he may not be their number one hurler when that time comes, if he remains healthy there is no doubt Lopez can be a horse for whomever the Sox manager is at that point to ride. Let’s hope he rides him to a World Series ring.