Reynaldo López's All-Star worthy season continues to captivate Braves fans

Incredible and unexpected success has one of Atlanta's offseason additions on the cusp of an All-Star Game appearance.

Atlanta Braves v Baltimore Orioles
Atlanta Braves v Baltimore Orioles / Mitchell Layton/GettyImages

The Atlanta Braves couldn't have predicted that signing Reynaldo Lopez this offseason would pan out as well as it has so far. However, fans have been pleasantly surprised by the performance they've gotten from the righty.

Lopez was signed to a three-year, $30 million contract before the season and fans first thought they were getting a solid relief option. It was revealed soon after the deal was completed that Atlanta planned on utilizing him as a starting pitcher instead.

He had experience as a starter but it had been a few years since his last start in the big leagues. However, the team gave him a shot in spring training and he showed very quickly that he still could effectively start games with a 2.16 ERA over 16.2 innings.

Reynaldo López's All-Star caliber season has been everything the Braves hoped for

Lopez's incredible spring earned him a spot in the Atlanta rotation and he's done nothing but prove the Braves right since. The Dominican native currently owns a 1.69 ERA which is the best in baseball. Over 69.1 innings, he has allowed 13 earned runs, walked 22 batters, and struck out 70.

Reynaldo also has the third-best home run-to-fly ball ratio at 5.4% as well as the fifth-best HR/9 rate at 0.52 and left-on-base percentage at 85.8%. His 2.84 FIP is 14th best and his 1.9 WAR is tied for 20th best in baseball.

The veteran right-hander has done a great job mixing his pitches and his fastball velocity has been sitting between 96 to 98 mph. He's shown the ability to understand when to dial it back and help get himself deeper into games but can easily reach back for the extra velo when needed in a tough spot.

He has not allowed more than three earned runs over 12 starts and has completed six or more innings in eight of those starts. Lopez's "worst" month came in May as he had a 1.98 ERA in the month over 27.1 innings with six earned runs allowed, 10 walks, and 24 strikeouts.

April saw Reynaldo earn a 1.50 ERA through 30 innings and so far in June, he has a 1.50 ERA through 12 innings (two starts) and has walked two while striking out 15.

It's safe to say Renaldo Lopez has more than earned an opportunity to be an All-Star this season. There's also a great argument for him starting the Summer Classic in Arlington. That would be the ultimate surprise for Braves fans who had little expectations for Lopez. He was supposed to be the fifth starter in the rotation and eat innings for Atlanta. However, he has become much more vital to the rotation than anyone could have expected.

Lopez discussed after his last start that he feels more confident in his ability every single time he takes the mound. He stated, "Every outing I go out I feel more confident in myself, in my ability, and in my pitches."

He even discussed that his wife is one of the main reasons he didn't give up looking for an opportunity to start baseball games. Lopez mentioned that he still viewed himself as a reliever and had surpassed his own expectations.

He stated, through translator Franco Garcia, "Really I just want to give credit to my wife, who is the only one who believed in me, the only one who really had faith in me to be a starter in the big leagues. She was constantly telling my agent to keep looking for opportunities where I could be a starter somewhere. So, she was the one who kinda kept the faith."

It's really great to see things have gone so well for Lopez and that he has a solid support system behind him. He has earned every bit of the success he's found and should represent the Braves during the 2024 All-Star game in Texas.

Hopefully, his great season continues as the Braves look to sweep the Detroit Tigers on Wednesday afternoon. First pitch for the series finale is at 12:20 p.m. EST and will be broadcast on Bally Sports South.

More from House That Hank Built