After designating the reliever for assignment on Tuesday amid a flurry of roster moves, the Colorado Rockies have outrighted Wilton Lopez to Triple-A Colorado Springs. The 30 year old right-hander had the option to elect free agency instead, but has reportedly accepted the assignment.
Source: #Rockies Wilton Lopez accepts outright assignment to AAA. Had option to elect free agency.
— Chris Cotillo (@ChrisCotillo) June 14, 2014
Lopez had gotten off to a horrendous start to the 2014 season after struggling in 2013 during his first season with the Rockies. He’d made just four appearances this year, pitching 6.1 IP in which he’d allowed eight runs on 18 hits, including three home runs. He had yet to walk a batter on the season, but the struggles were a noticeable continuation of that downward trend he’d been taking over the past season plus. Since arriving in Colorado he’s posted a 4.63 ERA and 1.518 WHIP in 81.2 innings of work.
The Rockies picked up Lopez in a trade with the Houston Astros prior to the 2013 season, parting with Alex White and Alex Gillingham in the process. The Philadelphia Phillies had a deal in place to acquire Lopez from Houston just weeks prior, but backed out over reported concerns about the health of his shoulder. It’s unclear if those issues have contributed to the struggles he’s seen since joining the Rockies.
Prior to being dealt, Lopez had quietly been one of the better setup arms in baseball for the Astros. He’d post a 2.64 ERA and 1.126 WHIP from 2010 through 2012, throwing 204.1 IP while making more than 64 appearances each season.
The once-hot Rockies have since cooled off, largely in part to a rash of injuries the team has been forced to address lately. Tuesday’s busy day of roster moves included placing right-hander Eddie Butler (strained rotator cuff) and outfielder Michael Cuddyer (left shoulder inflammation) on the disabled list. The team had already placed Boone Logan (left elbow inflammation), Jordan Lyles (fractured right hand), and Carlos Gonzalez (finger surgery) there earlier this month as well.