Lorenzen getting mixed reviews as starter
GOODYEAR, Ariz. (AP) — Michael Lorenzen is getting inconsistent results as he tries to win the fifth spot in the Cincinnati Reds’ rotation after being used exclusively out of the bullpen the last two seasons.
The right-hander has made two solid appearances and one wild one during spring games, which hasn’t helped his cause. He’s got a few more chances to make his case for a move back to the rotation. The alternative is to open the season as a middle-inning reliever.
“It’s about what you’re going to do about it,” Lorenzen said. “It is about whether you make the most out of your own situation.”
Lorenzen made his major league debut in 2015 and had 21 starts along with six relief appearances for the Reds. He went 4-9 with a 5.40 ERA overall, and Cincinnati decided to move him to the bullpen.
His best season was 2016, when he went 2-1 with a 2.88 ERA in 35 games. He was used in late-inning roles last season and was inconsistent — a 2.93 ERA before the All-Star break and 6.32 afterward. He finished 8-4 with a 4.45 ERA in 70 appearances.
Raisel Iglesias returns as the closer. The Reds signed right-handers Jared Hughes and David Hernandez for set-up roles, limiting Lorenzen’s options in the bullpen at the outset.
He’s competing with three others for the only open spot in the rotation. If he doesn’t get it, he could move back into the bullpen.
Lorenzen pitched two solid innings in his first game this spring, but failed to last two innings the next time out. He gave up five runs, five hits and two walks while retiring only five batters. He couldn’t throw strikes with any of his pitches.
“I don’t know what it was, but I know it wasn’t right,” Lorenzen said.
He worked on his delivery during his throwing sessions the next few days and was better in his following appearance, allowing one hit and no walks in two scoreless innings.
“First you figure out what it is and then every time you throw a ball, you work on it,” Lorenzen said. “It comes from understanding what is that’s causing you to be out of sync, then getting the habit out of you and retraining your nervous system to be in sync.”
Lorenzen was a center fielder at Cal State-Fullerton and closed games because he could throw hard. The Reds drafted him in 2013 and decided to turn him into a starter in the minors. During his rookie season, Lorenzen went 3-8 with a 5.92 ERA during a span of 18 consecutive starts, and the Reds moved him into the bullpen.