In order to make room for Joey Lucchesi on the San Diego Padres’ 25-man roster, the team optioned backup catcher Raffy Lopez to Triple-A El Paso.
According to multiple reports, the San Diego Padres have optioned backup catcher, Rafael Lopez, to Triple-A El Paso to make room for tonight’s starting pitcher, Joey Lucchesi, on the team’s 25-man roster.
Lucchesi, 24, was a fourth-round draft pick of the Friars in the 2016 MLB Amateur Draft. Since making his professional debut later that fall, the left-hander has a 1.99 earned-run average, a 0.934 WHIP, and 10.1 strikeouts per nine innings in 181 innings.
After speeding through three levels of the Padres organization in under a full season, Lucchesi made it to Double-A San Antonio last season, pitching well enough to get a major league camp invite this year.
We all know what’s happened since then that’s led to his MLB debut tonight. Unfortunately, Raffy Lopez is left as the odd-man out in this particular situation.
Padres needed to make room for Joey Lucchesi, but Raffy will be back
After coming to the Friars this offseason after spending a season in the Toronto Blue Jays’ organization, Lopez, 30, had a fantastic spring for the Padres in Peoria.
In 25 at-bats this spring, Lopez hit .320 with a 1.294 OPS, including four home runs, seven RBI, and two doubles.
Initially, Pads’ manager Andy Green kept three catchers on his Opening Day roster. Lopez along with Austin Hedges, the starter, and A.J. Ellis, the grizzled veteran, were all on the team as of yesterday.
It’s certainly too bad that newly-minted fan-favorite in Lopez had to be the casualty to make room for Joey Lucchesi, but I don’t think he’ll be out in West Texas town of El Paso for too long. His bat is just too valuable to this team, even in simply a pinch-hitting capacity.