Orioles bring back Jorge López, claiming last year's All-Star closer off waivers; Mountcastle still out; Wells has arm fatigue - BaltimoreBaseball.com
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Orioles bring back Jorge López, claiming last year’s All-Star closer off waivers; Mountcastle still out; Wells has arm fatigue

Photo Credit: James A. Pittman-USA TODAY Sports

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PHOENIX—The Orioles claimed Jorge López off waivers from the Miami Marlins on Saturday. López  was their All-Star closer in 2022 and dealt to Minnesota in a trade that brought Yennier Cano and minor league starting prospect Cade Povich to the Orioles.

López, who was on the 15-day injured list earlier this season with Minnesota to deal with mental health issues, was 2-0 with a 9.26 earned-run average in 20 games with the Marlins after the Twins traded him to Miami on July 26th.

The Orioles made López their closer before the 2022 season, and he was 4-6  with a 1.68 ERA and 19 saves. He was the Orioles’ representative for the American League All-Star team in 2022 and was traded to Minnesota on August 2nd for Cano, Povich and minor league pitchers Juan Nunez and Juan Rojas.

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“Lopie is somebody that a lot of us in that clubhouse are really close with,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “He had some really good moments the first half last year. He was the best closer in baseball … We’re hoping he can help us down the stretch.”

The Orioles have a number of new pitchers in the bullpen since López left last year. Cionel Pérez is one who was with him land is happy to see him return.

“I saw the news this morning, and I think it’s going to be something good for the team,” Pérez said through a translator. “I have a good relationship with him, and I’m happy to have him back.

“We’re one big family. No matter who’s out there. we always feel like we have a good group of guys and whether it’s someone new or the same group of guys we had last year, there are still some familiar faces, and we really like our group back there, and López is a great guy, and we’re excited to have him and excited to have him join that group.”

With the Twins, López was far less successful. He was 0-1 with a 4.37 ERA and four saves in 22 games.

“He’s got a huge arm, We know a lot about him, and we’re hoping he can help us,” Hyde said.

Because he was acquired after August 31st, López is ineligible for the postseason roster, but he remains under club control for next season.

To make room for López on the 40-man roster, the Orioles designated right-hander Logan Gillaspie for assignment. Gillaspie was 0-1 with a 6.00 ERA in 11 games.

López has not yet reported to the Orioles, so no 28-man roster move is currently necessary.

Mountcastle not in lineup again: Ryan Mountcastle is not in the Orioles’ lineup for Saturday’s game. He was a late scratch before Friday night’s game against Arizona. Mountcastle participated in pregame drills on Saturday.

Hyde declined to say whether Mountcastle was suffering from vertigo, which sent him to the injured list in June.

“He feels a little bit better, still under the weather,” Hyde said. “Hopefully, he’ll be available off the bench tonight.”

Notes: Hyde said that Tyler Wells, who hasn’t pitched since August 25th with Triple-A Norfolk, has arm fatigue after being moved to the bullpen. “He didn’t quite bounce back like we were hoping,” Hyde said. “Hopefully, he’ll be out there soon.” … Closer Félix Bautista, who has an elbow injury, is on the trip and participated in stretching exercises, but Hyde said there was nothing new to report on his condition.

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