Lopez has a strong July, waits for callup

Prospect earns monthly Sox Minor League Pitcher award

Lopez has a strong July, waits for callup

BOSTON -- Those White Sox fans who stridently believe Reynaldo Lopez currently belongs in the Major Leagues can take solace in the fact the right-hander feels he should be there, too.

"Yes, absolutely. I feel like I'm ready physically and mentally to pitch in the Majors," said Lopez through interpreter Billy Russo during a Friday conference call with the White Sox Minor League Pitcher of July. "It has been a little difficult because you dream about pitching in the Majors and being in the Majors.

"When you're doing your job and things are going well, then you want to be there right away. But you also know you have to be patient. That's one of the things I've been trying to show to the organization, that I can be patient, too."

Lopez, 23, had 44 innings of big league experience with the Nationals during the '16 season. Over his last 41 2/3 innings, MLBPipeline.com's No. 59 prospect has recorded 54 strikeouts while allowing 10 earned runs.

Little doubt exists regarding Lopez's arrival. It's just a question of whether it comes in the next week or so or during September callups.

"I've been working on trying to keep my focus on the whole game," Lopez said. "Also, on how to execute the best pitches in all the different situations of the game.

"Those two aspects have been the most important for me in this time in Triple-A because all of my pitches -- my curveball, my fastball -- all of my pitches are good. It's just a matter of, 'Don't lose my focus and try to execute and understand the game situations.' That's something I have been trying to improve."

Jimenez driven by trade

"Sad and weird" were the words used by Eloy Jimenez to describe his feelings when he was first traded from the Cubs to the White Sox as part of the Jose Quintana deal. But the White Sox co-Minor League hitter of July explained in a Friday conference call how he used that trade as motivation.

"I tried to think about it and to realize that I maybe have to work harder and maybe this trade was beneficial for me because maybe I can reach the Majors faster and that's a good thing," said Jimenez through his interpreter, Russo. "I realized, 'OK, this is the best for me.'

"Maybe I can be in the fast track here to reach my dream to play in the Majors. And that was the way that I took it."

Jimenez, MLBPipeline.com's No. 7 prospect, has a 1.062 OPS with Class A Advanced Winston-Salem, along with four home runs and 14 RBIs.

Third to first

• Jake Peter, who shared top White Sox Minor League Player honors with Jimenez in July, has a .346 average over 13 games since returning to Charlotte from Double-A Birmingham.

"I had a rough start but with that struggle I learned a lot about myself and learned what I need to do to be a better player," said Peter during a Friday conference call. "That's what I focused on every single day in Birmingham and just waited for my opportunity to get called up to Charlotte."

• Manager Rick Renteria hoped Avisail Garcia would not need an injury rehab assignment before coming back to the White Sox. Garcia, on the disabled list with a sprained right thumb, took swings during early BP on Friday.

• Veteran right-hander Al Alburquerque was signed by the White Sox and assigned to Charlotte.

Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.