Royals hope Jorge Lopez can be power reliever

May 30th, 2019

CHICAGO -- With right-hander , who was named the starter for Wednesday night’s game against the White Sox, now in the rotation, Royals manager Ned Yost said right-hander will move to the bullpen, likely for the long term.

Lopez, who was acquired in a trade with the Brewers last summer for Mike Moustakas, now has a 6.67 ERA this season and his career ERA as a reliever is now 3.14 after logging five innings in relief of Sparkman, who was ejected in the second inning after hitting Tim Anderson in the helmet.

“He’s going to be fine,” Yost said of Lopez prior to his team's 8-7 loss in the series finale at Guaranteed Rate Field. “It’s kind of the second and third time around the order lately where he’s struggled. First time around he has been good, which bodes well for him to be a reliever, a power reliever.

“I think it will take a little time for him to get settled down there, but I think he will be very productive. We’ll see.”

Yost said he isn’t sure if Lopez will be tried as a starter again down the road.

“Right now, I don’t know,” Yost said. “We’re trying to find a niche for him. We tried starting him and it wasn’t very successful. I think he’ll be a really good reliever, and if he is, he’ll stay there.

“He can go multiple innings down there.”

Duda on rehab
Royals first baseman/DH (back) started his rehab assignment with Triple-A Omaha on Tuesday and had two hits.