Clippard knows White Sox might not be his last stop
Right-hander Tyler Clippard, acquired from the Yankees along with outfield prospect Blake Rutherford in the White Sox’ trade of David Robertson, Todd Frazier and Tommy Kahnle before the deadline, converted his first save for the Sox on Tuesday against the Astros and has pitched seven scoreless innings in his last six outings, lowering his ERA to 1.93 in 10 appearances for the Sox.
His ERA with the Yankees was 4.95, and Clippard, who pitched a scoreless 10th inning with two strikeouts in the Sox’ 3-2 victory in 11 innings against the Astros Thursday at Guaranteed Rate Field, thinks he’s on to something.
“When I got here, I was in a bit of a funk, and working with [pitching coach Don Cooper] and [bullpen coach Curt Hasler], I saw some results, and I feel pretty comfortable out there right now,’’ Clippard said Thursday. “I’m looking at my target, and it’s going in that general vicinity. When that’s happening, I’m on track.’’
Clippard said the trade “wasn’t something that I wanted” because the Yankees are in a playoff push, but “I said, ‘Let’s make the most of this.’ And everyone here has been great.’’
If Clippard (58 career saves) strings together more good outings, the Sox might find a taker from a contending team looking for veteran bullpen help and add another prospect to their farm system. The Sox are Clippard’s sixth team in the last four seasons.
“Who knows, man,’’ Clippard said, laughing. “At this point, the way my life has been over the last three years, I’m ready for anything. That’s the nature of being a veteran bullpen arm in this day and age. It’s a life that we lead. You just go where you’re needed.’’
Lopez set for debut
Right-hander Reynaldo Lopez arrived at Guaranteed Rate Field, a day in advance of making his first start for the Sox against the Royals on Friday night.
Lopez has been the Sox’ top pitcher at Class AAA Charlotte and is projected as an important part of their future rotation.
MLB.com ranks Lopez as the No. 7 prospect in the Sox’ system and No. 59 in baseball. He was 6-7 with a 3.79 ERA and 131 strikeouts (third in the International League) in 22 starts covering 121 innings at Charlotte.
The Sox acquired the 23-year-old with right-handers Lucas Giolito and Dane Dunning from the Nationals in the December trade for Adam Eaton.
Lopez went 5-3 with a 4.91 ERA and 42 strikeouts in 44 innings for the Nats in 2016. He features a fastball, curve and changeup.
“He’s got the physical stuff,’’ Cooper said. “Now we’re going to try to maximize the command of that stuff, the three pitches he possesses. And now his time has come. And I’m looking forward to tomorrow.
“With all the guys we’ve traded, starting with Chris Sale, and all the people we’ve acquired, and there are more coming up — with the [June] draft — I’m excited about the names and the talent that I hear that we’re accruing. Somewhere down the road, we’re going to be back.’’
Davidson targets Tuesday return
Third baseman and designated hitter Matt Davidson said his bruised right wrist took a turn for the better Wednesday. He’s hoping to swing a bat Friday and is targeting a return from the disabled list Tuesday, when the Sox open a six-game trip against the Dodgers.
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