Now Commenting On:

Boston bolsters bullpen with Lopez

Boston bolsters bullpen with Lopez

The Red Sox acquired left-handed pitcher Javier Lopez from the Chicago White Sox on Thursday in exchange for righty David Riske with hopes of bolstering a bullpen that's missing an injured Keith Foulke.

Lopez, 28, who was picked up by Boston in the Rule 5 Draft in December 2002, was traded by the club to Colorado in March 2003. General manager Theo Epstein said a thorough scouting report by the Red Sox showed that Lopez has shown tremendous improvement since then.

"We thought that [Riske] was relatively expendable in order to get a lefty that we had a good, recent look at, who we think can help us now," Epstein said during a Thursday conference call. "In the long run, I think, looking forward to the second half of the season and beyond, clearing up a bit of that logjam with a redundancy of right-handed relievers will help us get a look at some younger guys who we want to see pitch in the big leagues."

In 26 appearances with Triple-A Charlotte, Lopez went 2-1 with a 0.55 ERA and 12 saves. He did not allow a run in his last 9 1/3 innings over eight appearances. He held left-handed batters to a .171 batting average.

In his big-league career with the Rockies and Diamondbacks, Lopez is 6-4 with a 6.09 ERA. He's allowed 22 percent (26-of-118) of inherited runners to score, and he's held left-handed batters to a .246 average.

Epstein said Lopez's fastball has a range of 85-90 mph, and he throws an above-average slider.

"He's still primarily a guy who's a very uncomfortable at-bat for left-handed hitters, but he's been much more affective against righties," Epstein said.

"I think with the way our bullpen has evolved, there's certainly a role for someone like that right now."

In eight relief appearances with the Red Sox this season, Riske went 0-1 with a 3.72 ERA. He was on the disabled list from April 12-May 22 with a lower back strain, and he pitched in just one game in the last 10 days. The right-hander had been acquired from Cleveland in a six-player trade in January.

Jason Brummond is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español