Before the trade deadline on Tuesday, the Minnesota Twins made their biggest acquisition of the season so far in RHP Jorge López, the Orioles current closer. In return, the Orioles get four pitchers from the Twins organization, only one who has seen big league time.
Twins get: RHP Jorge López
Orioles get: LHP Cade Povich, RHP Yennier Cano, LHP Juan Rojas, and RHP Juan Nunez
So what are the Twins getting in Jorge López?
López is 29 years old and has spent time with the Orioles, Royals and Brewers. The Puerto Rico native was drafted by the Brew Crew in 2011 and eventually made his debut in 2015. He was traded to the Royals before the trade deadline in 2018. It was a trade many remember that sent a KC favorite in Mike Moustakas to Milwaukee. In that same year, Jorge López flirted with a perfect game against none other than yours truly, the Minnesota Twins. He made it into the 9th before Kepler broke it up with a BB and Grossman hit a single. López got a standing ovation at Target Field. He was eventually DFA’d and signed in Baltimore, where he has been ever since. Last year he transitioned to the bullpen. This year he became the Orioles closer with 19 saves to date, 4 blown saves.
My first thought when I learned the Twins acquired López was him blowing two saves against the Twins in early July. Those games came after 9 saves in a row. It was a rough stretch for him against the American League Central-leading Twins, but hey, now he doesn’t have to face them anymore.
If you remove Jorge López's appearances vs. the #MNTwins, these are his season totals:— Aaron Gleeman (@AaronGleeman) August 2, 2022
1 home run
Pretty difficult to be any more dominant than that.
Here is a look at his career stats. Remember, the past two years he has played for the Orioles. They won 52 games last year. They have won 52 games already this year (one game above .500.)
Career: Record 16-37 ERA 5.51 IP 398.1 WHIP 1.476 SO/9 7.9
This Year: Record 4-6 ERA 1.68 IP 48.1 WHIP .0972 SO/9 10.1 19 of 23 SVs
López relies on 5 pitches, heavily on his sinker. He also throws a changeup, curve, slider and 4-seam fastball. His sinker (main pitch) comes in at 98 MPH. He will wear #48 for the Twins.
Who the Twins gave up:
- LHP Cade Povich: This Nevada boy turned Cornhusker was drafted 98th overall in 2021 by the Minnesota Twins. He’s 6’3, 22 years old and was currently in A+ with the Cedar Rapids Kernels. According to MLB.com he sat 22 on the Twins top prospect list.
- RHP Yennier Cano: Cano has pitched in 10 games this year in his rookie season. In 13.2 innings he has struck out 14 batters. The Cuba native, 28, has an inflated ERA of 9.22. The Twins signed him as an international free agent in 2019. The cancellation of the minor league season in 2020 did not do him any favors. He could pan out to be a nice arm for Baltimore.
- LHP Juan Rojas: This 18-year-old from Venezuela was signed by the Twins in March of 2021. He’s had early success in the Florida Complex League. This season, in five starts he’s managed a WHIP of 0.90. In 30 innings, he’s struck out 38 batters. In two seasons his ERA is 2.57.
- RHP Juan Nunez: This 21-year-old from the Dominican Republic is also competing with the Rookie-level affiliate of the Minnesota Twins. In 29.2 IP he’s struck out 40 this season with an ERA of 4.85. He was signed by the Twins in 2019.