Atlanta Braves' Offseason Acquisition Joins Rare Group of Team History Over Last 30 Years

Reynaldo Lopez has turned out to be a brilliant signing for the Atlanta Braves.
Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Reynaldo Lopez (40) pitches against  Washington Nationals right fielder Lane Thomas (28) during the fourth inning at Nationals Park on June 6.
Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Reynaldo Lopez (40) pitches against Washington Nationals right fielder Lane Thomas (28) during the fourth inning at Nationals Park on June 6. / Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
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The Atlanta Braves' signing of pitcher Reynaldo Lopez over the winter may turn out to be one of the best moves of the entire offseason.

Having served as a reliever nearly exclusively since 2022, the Braves said they wanted to utilize Lopez as a starter, and that's worked out to historic proportions.

Per @JayHayKid of the "Baseball is Dead" podcast:

Braves pitchers with sub-2 ERAs through the first 11 starts of a season, Wild Card Era:

Reynaldo López (2024)
Bryce Elder (2023)
Michael Soroka (2019)
Shelby Miller (2015)
Julio Teheran (2014)
Brandon Beachy (2012)
Jair Jurrjens (2011)
Tom Glavine (2002)
Greg Maddux (1995, 97)

Any time that you are on a list with Maddux and Glavine, two Hall of Famers, you are doing something right. Lopez is 3-2 this year with a 1.85 ERA and is in the running for an All-Star Game appearance this summer. He's struck out 62 batters in 63.1 innings.

Given that he's only started one game since 2022 coming into this season, it's unclear if Lopez will be able to serve as a starter the entire year but in the absence of Spencer Strider, the team has certainly needed everything that he has given them.

Lopez is in his ninth year in the big leagues with the Washington Nationals, Chicago White Sox, Los Angeles Angels, Cleveland Guardians and Braves.

He's 42-51 lifetime with a 4.11 ERA. He also has six career saves.

The Braves are 35-25 on the season and will take on the Nationals on Friday night at Nationals Park. First pitch is set for 6:45 p.m. ET.

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Brady Farkas

BRADY FARKAS

Brady Farkas is a baseball writer for Fastball on Sports Illustrated/FanNation and the host of 'The Payoff Pitch' podcast which can be found on Apple Podcasts and Spotify. Videos on baseball also posted to YouTube. Brady has spent nearly a decade in sports talk radio and is a graduate of Oswego State University. You can follow him on Twitter @WDEVRadioBrady.