Reynaldo Lopez Aims To Fortify Mentality On Mound

After a rough 2019, Lopez knows he needs to forget his mistakes quickly.

Bruce Levine
February 13, 2020 - 1:22 pm

(670 The Score) With 79 big league starts under his belt, White Sox right-hander Reynaldo Lopez is viewing 2020 as an opportunity for a breakthrough campaign.

Lopez had a strong 2018 by posting a 3.91 ERA and 1.27 WHIP in 32 starts, which he followed up with poor results last season. Lopez had a 5.38 ERA and 1.45 WHIP in 33 starts, and his 110 earned runs allowed were the most in MLB.

It was amid those struggles that Lopez lost the sense of controlling his own fate, and his confidence eroded at times. He knows that must change to produce the intended results.

"Last year was a year of too many ups and downs," Lopez said through a team translator. "I worked on both the physical and mental side of the game while working out in Los Angeles this fall and winter. I am in a better place in both areas, and I am thinking it will be a much better year."

Lopez, 26, is carrying a positive demeanor as spring training opens. He believes part of his struggles were based on not having a short memory on the mound.

"I will continue to grind in my approach," Lopez said. "All of my problems last year were on the field. They were sometimes just pitches I had missed with. Then that thought in my mind was always there. I couldn't get rid of the thought. When I made a mistake, the thought just stayed in my mind. That was the main reason why I had too many struggles last year.

"You learn that this game is more mental than physical. I used to work my body more in the offseason. I have changed that and have been working more on my mind with a few people and doing different programs. I have made some changes as to how my mind will work when I am pitching this season."

Lopez believes in his arsenal and simply wants to utilize it better.

"My repertoire is going to be the same," he said. "I will not add any pitches or eliminate any. I just have to keep doing my job and grinding. When you are at this level, you know there are a lot of people behind you that want your spot. That is my mindset, and I know what I need to do. I know my ability and what I am capable of doing. I just must concentrate on my work. We will see what happens."

"Physically, I made some changes in my workout (this offseason). With my stuff, there are no major changes, but I did work on a fastball spin rate to try and improve it. It was all about getting my body in better shape than the last two years."

Bruce Levine covers the Cubs and White Sox for 670 The Score. Follow him on Twitter @MLBBruceLevine​.