BALTIMORE — Of all the feel-good stories on the Orioles roster this year, right at the top is that of Jorge Lopez.
The 29-year-old pitcher is enjoying a career rebirth this season, his first as a closer. Lopez was picked up off waivers by Baltimore in August of 2020. Primarily a starter he went 3-14 last year with a 6.07 ERA in 33 games. This year he is thriving in his new role with a 1.83 ERA in 36 games.
Wednesday's save in a 2-1 win against Texas was his 14th of the season and it was a critical one. It came after his first real bump in road. Last weekend he blew back-to-back saves in Minnesota.
Still, manager Brandon Hyde went back to him Wednesday and he delivered.
"It was huge confidence. Every time I go out there I try to compete as hard as I can and some things happen in this game. A lot of ups and downs. It’s a roller coaster a lot of times," said Lopez on Thursday. "But, the good thing is we have been doing a really good job to get that confidence back. So, just keep working with my executing pitches."
While Lopez has a shot at representing the Orioles at the All-Star Game in a couple weeks, we learned Thursday that an O’s minor leaguer is already headed to All-Star weekend in Los Angeles. Triple-A infielder Gunnar Henderson will play for the American League in the Futures Game on July 16. The contest is comprised of all of the top prospects in baseball.