Michael Lorenzen
Michael Lorenzen
29-Year-Old PitcherRP
Cincinnati Reds
60-Day IL
Injury Shoulder
Est. Return 7/1/2021
2021 Fantasy Outlook
Lorenzen is a riddle wrapped up in an enigma. Is he a potential closer? Is he a part-time outfielder? Is he a starting pitcher? He's currently projected to have a chance to win a spot in the starting rotation this spring after closing out the 2020 regular season as a starter, and that's his stated desire. Lorenzen did well in a cameo version last season, but previous iterations as a starter didn't fare well. With a full offseason and spring training to stretch out, he should be able to handle the workload, and it's fair to suggest that he's a different pitcher now than when he first arrived in the majors. He posted a swinging strike rate north of 14% for the second season in a row, whereas before he had trouble finishing off hitters. With those K's also come more walks unfortunately, as he walked 12.0% of the hitters he faced in 2020. He's best drafted as an endgame player or streamer. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
#489
ADP
$Signed a one-year, $4.438 million contract with the Reds in January of 2021.
Receives second PRP injection
PCincinnati Reds
Shoulder
May 2, 2021
Lorenzen (shoulder) had a second platelet-rich plasma injection recently, Mark Sheldon of MLB.com reports. He has not yet begun a throwing program. "He's going to be in Arizona completing his rehab process," manager David Bell said. "He's healing up. He's still on track. He did respond well to the treatments he's had, and we're hoping to have him back in the next couple of months."
ANALYSIS
The lack of a throwing program so far suggests that it's going to be a while before we see Lorenzen. As such, his absence could be longer than the minimum 60 days.
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Pitching Stats
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2020 MLB Game Log
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2019 MLB Game Log
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2018 MLB Game Log
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Left/Right Pitching Splits
Since 2019
 
 
-10%
BAA vs LHP
2021
No Stats
2020
 
 
-11%
BAA vs RHP
2019
 
 
-19%
BAA vs LHP
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2019vs Left .212 216 54 20 40 8 1 4
Since 2019vs Right .235 267 65 25 56 9 1 8
2021vs Left 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2021vs Right 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2020vs Left .246 70 15 7 15 2 0 0
2020vs Right .220 70 19 10 13 3 1 3
2019vs Left .195 146 39 13 25 6 1 4
2019vs Right .240 197 46 15 43 6 0 5
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Home/Away Pitching Splits
Since 2019
 
 
-38%
ERA on Road
2021
No Stats
2020
 
 
-45%
ERA at Home
2019
 
 
-64%
ERA on Road
ERA WHIP IP W L SV K/9 BB/9 HR/9
Since 2019Home 4.05 1.17 60.0 2 3 4 10.1 2.9 1.4
Since 2019Away 2.53 1.28 57.0 2 2 3 8.4 4.1 0.5
2021Home 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2021Away 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2020Home 3.32 0.92 21.2 1 1 0 10.8 2.1 1.2
2020Away 6.00 2.25 12.0 2 0 0 6.8 9.0 0.0
2019Home 4.46 1.30 38.1 1 2 4 9.6 3.3 1.4
2019Away 1.60 1.02 45.0 0 2 3 8.8 2.8 0.6
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2020
2019
2018
2017
2016
2015
Lorenzen has earned a lot of acclaim for his ability as a two-way player, but that doesn't do justice to how much he improved as a pitcher in 2019. The fifth year player turned in his best season under the tutelage of pitching coach Derek Johnson (a common refrain). He added velocity, and saw his K% rate spike from 15.7 to 24.8, while lowering his BB% from 9.9 to 8.2. Barring a big offseason acquisition for the bullpen, Lorenzen is the best in-house alternative if the Reds decide to move away from Raisel Iglesias as the closer, and was successful when used in the role, converting seven save chances. As they continue to improve their offense, they might use Lorenzen less as a hitter, however. As he had more at-bats, he became less effective, turning in a good-for-a-pitcher line of .208/.283/.313 in 53 plate appearances, although he trailed only Aaron Judge in average exit velocity (95.7 mph).
The first thing everyone mentions with Lorenzen is his hitting, and we'll follow suit. The right-hander was a two-way player in college and clearly has retained some of those hitting skills, posting a .290/.333/.710 line with four homers in 34 at-bats. He's the rare pitcher who is used as a pinch hitter not only in extra-inning affairs, but also as a primary option. But his primary position is as a pitcher, and unfortunately in that department the Reds still aren't quite sure what they have on their hands. He was out for nearly two months with a shoulder injury, and after returning he was really wild, turning in walk rates over 10% each month until September. He made three starts in late September, with decent but not great results (four earned runs over 13.2 innings with a 5:5 K:BB). Lorenzen is hoping to impress new manager David Bell and earn a rotation spot in spring training.
Lorenzen was the reliever that Reds manager Bryan Price trusted the most to get games to closer Raisel Iglesias, though that didn't always manifest itself in a traditional setup role. That was especially true early in the season when the Reds were off to a good start, and the games were critical enough to identify key situations early in the game -- notably once in the third inning against the Pirates. The Reds initially envisioned multiple relievers sharing in the save chances, but instead Iglesias colllected 28 of their 33 saves, with Lorenzen getting just two. He faltered badly in the second half, posting a 6.32 ERA after the All-Star break. Pitching as a starter no longer seems to be in the offing for Lorenzen, despite some musings midseason last year, so expect more of the same from him in 2018.
Rebuilding clubs often need to push prospects into big league situations sooner than they otherwise would. Lorenzen, who struggled in the majors in 2015 and missed the first two and a half months of 2016, definitely fell into that category. The Reds needed any help they could get and so the 24-year-old was sent to the majors as soon as his elbow healed up. After two years experimenting as a starter, Lorenzen was moved back to the bullpen and looked much sharper in the role. His average fastball velocity moved up to 96.2 mph, he struck out 48 batters in 50 innings and he cut his ERA nearly in half from the year before. The Reds have decided not to mess with success -- they will keep Lorenzen in the bullpen in 2017. He may see some high-leverage relief work, but Drew Storen and Raisel Iglesias will be the top candidates for save opportunities.
Most pitching prospects need to spend significant chunks of time at each minor league stop on the prospect ladder in order to be fully ready to contribute at the big league level. This is especially important if the prospect in question isn't that polished to begin with. All of this applies to Lorenzen, who was thrown into the Reds' rotation in late April, but appears to have not been ready for the task. Lorenzen played the outfield and pitched relief in college before the Reds converted him to starting. While Lorenzen had a 1.88 ERA in six Triple-A starts, his strikeout ratio was a microscopic 4.0 K/9, a harbinger for his struggles against major league hitters. Lorenzen could benefit from spending a half-season in Louisville in 2016, but it's uncertain whether he'll get it given the lack of veteran starting pitchers in the organization.
Lorenzen doesn't fit the mold of most prospects. Many organizations were interested in the Cal-State Fullerton attendee as an outfielder, but the Reds drafted him in the supplemental first round in 2013 as a relief pitcher, then converted him into a starter beginning at the Arizona Fall League. He got pounded there, but that frequently happens in a high-offense environment against many advanced hitting prospects, especially with pitchers with less experience like Lorenzen. The Reds quickly got him out of High-A Bakersfield, instead allowing him to develop at a higher level in Double-A Pensacola, albeit at a much friendlier ballpark for pitchers. He blossomed there, posting a 3.13 ERA over 120.2 innings while allowing just nine homers all season. The one question is whether Lorenzen can convert his stuff (94 mph fastball, good slider) into a better strikeout rate as he becomes more experienced. Thus, the Reds aren't likely to promote Lorenzen aggressively to the majors in order to get him to learn how to employ his range of pitches better.
More Fantasy News
Resting after PRP injection
PCincinnati Reds
Shoulder
April 16, 2021
Lorenzen (shoulder) received a platelet-rich plasma injection for his right shoulder strain and is resting for now, Mark Sheldon of MLB.com reports. "It's super early, so I'm just trying not to move it around, let the PRP kind of soak into the right places," Lorenzen said.
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Out through late May
PCincinnati Reds
Shoulder
April 14, 2021
The Reds transferred Lorenzen (shoulder) to the 60-day injured list Wednesday. He is expected to receive a PRP injection and avoid surgery, Bobby Nightengale of The Cincinnati Enquirer reports.
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Making slow progress
PCincinnati Reds
Shoulder
April 10, 2021
Lorenzen (shoulder) has been playing catch this week, but he's still at least a couple of weeks away from returning, Bobby Nightengale of The Cincinnati Enquirer reports.
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Lands on injured list
PCincinnati Reds
Shoulder
April 1, 2021
Lorenzen (shoulder) has been placed on the 10-day injured list, retroactive to March 29.
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Hits snag in recovery
PCincinnati Reds
Shoulder
March 31, 2021
Reds pitching coach Derek Johnson said Lorenzen (shoulder) won't be ready for the start of the season after experiencing a small setback in his rehab program, Bobby Nightengale of The Cincinnati Enquirer reports.
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