Washington, DC — With an empty spot on their 40-man roster and an ever-present need for more major league pitching depth, the Orioles claimed right-hander Jorge López off waivers from the Kansas City Royals on Sunday.
López, who the Royals acquired in their July 2018 trade with the Milwaukee Brewers that sent away third baseman Mike Moustakas, was a swingman who began the 2019 season in Kansas City’s rotation, was moved to the bullpen in June and returned to the rotation in mid-August.
He had a 6.33 ERA with a 1.472 WHIP in 39 appearances (18 starts) for the Royals, striking out 109 batters in 123⅔ innings. He’d pitched once this season, allowing two runs on three hits while recording two outs before he was designated for assignment Friday.
López joins Thomas Eshelman, who is on the major league roster, and Chandler Shepherd, who is at the secondary camp in Bowie, as swingman depth for the Orioles. The team is getting good long relief from Travis Lakins Sr. so far, and promoted left-hander Keegan Akin to add length to the bullpen after Eshelman had to make a spot start Saturday because of last week’s doubleheader.
The Orioles had 39 players on their 40-man roster after trading left-hander Richard Bleier to the Miami Marlins last weekend, so no corresponding roster move was required. López is out of minor league options and thus will have to be added to the active roster once he reports to the team, or else be exposed back to waivers.
The Orioles also had 59 players in their 60-man pool for this season after adding minor leaguers Gunnar Henderson and Brian Gonzalez to the Bowie site on Friday.
Around the horn
- Manager Brandon Hyde said Pedro Severino was supposed to catch Sunday afternoon’s game, but his wrist was sore from getting hit by a pitch there in his second at-bat off the bench Saturday night.
- Hyde said Alex Cobb and Wade LeBlanc would start the first two games of next week’s series at the Philadelphia Phillies, though the third starter was to be determined.