Games like Tuesday serve as a healthy reminder that Michael Lorenzen started exactly zero games during his three years at Cal State Fullerton and tallied only 28 starts in 49 minor league games from 2013-15. Translation: Lorenzen is very much a neophyte when it comes to pitching at the major-league level, and it’s been quite the frustrating stretch for Lorenzen over his last five starts (19.1 innings, 31 hits, 27 earned runs).

Chris Welsh floated the idea of a six-man rotation on the telecast, and that strategy may not be a bad one to pursue in order to give the rookies an extra day of rest for the remainder of the season. Lorenzen’s velocity was noticeably down Tuesday night, and it’s certainly possible the 23-year-old righty is beginning to tire.

Cincinnati Reds (49-62) 6 11 2
San Diego Padres (54-60) 11 11 1
W: Rea (1-0) L: Lorenzen (3-8)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score

The Good

*Billy Hamilton saved Lorenzen’s behind twice in the first inning. The first instance was when Hamilton hit the turbo button and ran down ex-Red Yonder Alonso’s drive to the warning track in right-center field. The second play occurred when Hamilton went full extension on a dive to his right to snare a hit away from Will Venable.

*In the fourth inning, Todd Frazier doubled in Joey Votto — who snapped an 0-for-14 skid with a double of his own — to record his first extra-base hit since July 28, a span of 11 games. The two-bagger was only Frazier’s fifth hit in that same stretch. Frazier added a hard-hit single in the sixth and a monster home run in the ninth. Slump snapped?

*Hamilton (single) and Skip Schumaker (sacrifice fly) drove in runs during the fifth inning.

*Tucker Barnhart picked up three hits. Brandon Phillips had two base knocks. Jason Bourgeois added the first pinch-hit home run of his career in the ninth.

The Bad

*Lorenzen simply never had it Tuesday night. Lorenzen’s first inning: five-pitch walk, incredible defensive play by Hamilton, single to center, walk, single to center to score two runs, incredible defensive play by Hamilton, single to center to plate a run, groundout. Lorenzen’s second inning: single, double, double to score two runs, wild pitch, strikeout, run-scoring double, yanked for Dylan Axelrod, who promptly gave up a two-run bomb to Jedd Gyorko on his third pitch of the game.

Lorenzen’s line on the night: 1.1 innings, seven (earned) runs, seven hits, two walks, and one strikeout. Depending on your point of view, either Tuesday night or July 26 at Colorado (2.1 innings, eight (earned) runs, seven hits, two walks, and one strikeout) represents Lorenzen’s 2015 nadir.

*Axelrod yielded four runs on four hits and three walks in 4.2 innings.

*In the first inning, the first two Reds reached against Colin Rea, who was making his major-league debut for San Diego. The rally fizzled quickly after Votto grounded into a double play and Frazier flied out.

*On a single play in the third inning, the Reds gave away three runs on two errors. Frazier botched a ground ball and the resulting throw from the left field deflected off Ivan De Jesus Jr.’s glove.

The Rest

*Alonso, Gyorko, Yangervis Solarte, and Austin Hedges each registered two hits for the Padres. Solarte scored three times and Gyorko drove in four runs.

*Rea allowed three (earned) runs over five innings to earn the win in his first MLB start. He walked one and struck out four.

*Former Reds manager Dusty Baker stopped by the Reds clubhouse prior to Tuesday’s game.

*Bryan Price said Eugenio Suarez will see time at left field, third base and second base — in addition to shortstop — at spring training. Suarez last played the outfield or third base on semi-regular basis in 2010 when he was in rookie ball.

Up Next

The Reds will attempt to avoid a sweep in San Diego Wednesday as two right-handers take the mound. Raisel Iglesias (53.1 innings, 3.51 FIP) gets the call to make his 10th start for the Reds while James Shields (146.1 innings, 4.21 FIP) stands to record his 25th start of the year for the Padres. First pitch is scheduled for 3:40 p.m. EST. The Reds will travel to Los Angeles after the game for a four-game set opposite the Dodgers.

44 Responses

  1. Tyler Burdett

    Just read Suarez’s comments about hitting and his mechanical adjustment. He payed tribute to Marlon Byrd as being someone who helped him with his swing. Similar comments were said by Justin Turner about Byrd as well. Interesting.

    • peter ponds

      Interesting that Byrd – probably in his only season as a Red- is the one providing help to a youngster. It’s called veteran presence. Wonder where are the other leaders of this team.

      • jdx19

        Perhaps Joey Votto told them “don’t swing at terrible pitches out of the zone” and they decided to take Marlon Byrd’s opposite advice, instead.

        You have absolutely zero idea what you are talking about, so don’t be so presumptuous to think there aren’t any ‘other’ leaders on this team.

  2. Jeff Morris

    That is great that Byrd is providing Veteran Leadership. We need more player/coaches. The inconsistency of the Reds hitting is really frustrating. 1st inning, they get two on base against a guy making his first major league start, and then Votto grounds into a double play. Then, in the next Votto at bat, he doubles. Could have used that in the first inning.

    • RedsDownUnderer

      If Joey Votto ever takes hitting advice from Marlon Byrd, then I will gladly become a Cards fan, bask in the absence of my soul, and enjoy the winning. Sheesh.

      • msanmoore

        +1171 (JV’s hit total per ESPN) for the “absence of my soul” comment.

      • peter ponds

        It’d be better if Votto is the one providing the advice, no doubt. But I haven’t read about it yet.

      • BigRedMike

        The Reds are not overly excited about Votto’s approach, they may not be interested in Votto providing advice to other players.

  3. Jeff Morris

    Wonder if Dusty Baker stopped by the Reds Clubhouse to say, “See…I told you its not the hitting coach, its the pupils that can’t hit!”

    • Tom Gray

      Clipped from Enquirer today:

      “Some things don’t change. We all get older, there’s water under the bridge, but you just let bygones be bygones and live,” Baker said. “That’s what it’s all about, living your life and being happy. I was pretty good to the game and the game was great to me.”

  4. pinson343

    Thanks, Grant, for a thorough recap. And upbeat, considering the way things have been going.

    • lwblogger2

      Seconded… Especially since last night’s game was one of the rare times I didn’t listen, watch, or follow the action on GameDay. I was, sadly, in bed by 10:00.

  5. Gonzo Reds

    *Bryan Price said Eugenio Suarez will see time at left field, third base and second base — in addition to shortstop — at spring training. – That is if Bryan Price is a Red come spring training and 99% of us hope he is not. With that being said I still think Suarez will spend alot of time at 2B in 2016.

    • VaRedsFan

      I’ve kind of given thought to that too….on what happens to Eugenio next year if v.2015 Cozart is back.
      – Try Suarez at 3rd Base, move Todd to left?
      – Keep Todd at 3rd and put Suarez in left?
      – Find a better left fielder and let Suarez be a super-sub (like Josh Harrison)
      – It might end up being a revolving door if Mez gets 15-20% of the starts there while not catching.

  6. VaRedsFan

    *Billy Hamilton saved Lorenzen’s behind twice in the first inning. The first instance was when Hamilton hit the turbo button and ran down ex-Red Yonder Alonso’s drive to the warning track in right-center field. The second play occurred when Hamilton went full extension on a dive to his right to snare a hit away from Will Venable.

    I wonder if those were 9% plays or 11% plays?

    Too bad he is regressing.

  7. dradg

    Given how people jumped on (and beat like a dead horse) Marty’s comment that JV is “no longer elite,” and how upbeat people here seem to be about Lorenzen, I am surprised that I do not see a single comment addressing Marty’s remark that another start by Lorenzen would call into question the intelligence (? forget the actual word) of the club.

    • CP

      I doubt many people heard it.

      I don’t know if I have a problem with that. Marty only crosses the line when he makes things personal against the players, criticizing the organization is fair game for the most part.

      Lorenzen seems like a good candidate to shuttle back to the minors and work on things. The Reds, very uncharacteristically, really pushed Lorenzen through the minors quickly. A 5+ BB/9 simply won’t cut it up in the big leagues. Better prospects than Lorenzen have struggled early on in their career.

      • lwblogger2

        Maybe have him work out of the pen down there and limit his innings while their at it? The guy has to be approaching his limit for the year.

      • vegastypo

        If memory serves, they said on TV that Lorenzen threw 120 innings last year, and was at about 100 to start last night. Isn’t the rule of thumb that a pitcher goes about 15 to 20 percent more innings from one year to the next, before hitting the ‘limit’? … Although, the way he looked last night, it might be time for those innings in AAA — if for no other reason than to save his emotional state rather than keep taking these beatings.

      • lwblogger2

        That innings increase sounds about right.

    • jdx19

      I think CP hit the nail on the head. I don’t mind Marty criticizing “the club” as a whole, because we all do it here on a daily basis, but deriding specific players is what irks me, personally!

    • Steve Mancuso

      I started listening to the radio broadcast last night, but by the second inning I turned it off. Brennaman was just too shrill regarding Lorenzen. It was unbearable for me. I turned the TV audio on and enjoyed the TV broadcast (no Thom). Chris Welsh really does a nice job. He’s knowledgable and when he’s working with Jim Kelch he seems to want to share the knowledge. He also has an open mind and fluency with modern theories about baseball (like the value of walks). When Chris works with Thom or George, he gets dragged in different directions.

      Marty seems so miserable. Like he has no genuine interest or enthusiasm for the Reds. He’s getting to the point where you wonder at times if he forgets that people have to listen to him.

  8. DHud

    Lorenzen is looking more and more like the first casualty candidate for September call-up starts/hitting an innings limit. I was super optimistic about him when the Reds called him up, but he’s stumbling right now and could maybe use a pause for the cause

    • Redsfan48

      I think it’s simply Lorenzen getting tired after throwing a lot of innings. If I were Bryan Price, I’d skip his next start and see if that helps him with the fatigue. If not, they should consider shutting him down a little early so he doesn’t get injured or lose too much confidence going into next year when we really need him.

  9. CP

    Continuing the discussion from last night’s game thread, this team hasn’t given up on Price. They are still playing hard. It helps to have a bunch of rookies and guys like Joey Votto-that guy never takes at bats off.

    I don’t really care if Price stays or goes, particularly if Walt Jocketty remains the GM, but it appears the fan base must have blood. I’d love to see a cohesive, analytics-friendly GM + manager brought in over the offseason. I don’t think the manager necessarily needs to be a stats guy, or younger, but rather be flexible and simply not hostile to stats.

    I like the fact that the Reds gave Price a shot at managing instead of hiring some re-tread who gets passed from team-to-team (the “safe” choice), I simply feel that he ran into a bit of a buzz saw with injuries. He didn’t get the real Joey Votto/Jay Bruce last year, and then the team was pretty much gutted early on when Bailey/Mesoraco were lost for the season. The lack of organizational depth (at least, at the high levels), made his job impossible. I don’t think he handled stress and/or criticism very well, but the wins/losses ultimately aren’t his fault. Yes, he made a myriad of mistake, but those mistakes are many of the same mistakes that ever manager makes.

    • lwblogger2

      The team does seem to still be battling. Didn’t watch last night but in earlier games it doesn’t seem like they’ve been phoning it in.That is a reflection of the manager and a positive for Price. There are an awful lot of negatives too though.

  10. WVRedlegs

    Mercifully, I believe Lorenzen will likely go to the DL for “shoulder fatigue” or “shoulder inflamation” soon. When he comes back, he’ll go into the bullpen. Most likely Stephenson gets the call-up, but they may wait until they get back from this road trip to call him up so he can make his debut in Cincinnati. Lorenzen’s next start is Sunday in LA, so it may not be the ideal spot for Stephenson’s first start. He could start the following Friday vs. Arizona, which would probably fill the seats. Lorenzen’s Sunday start may go to Villarreal or Axelrod in the meantime.
    I am going to the Kansas City games vs. the Reds next week and was hoping Johnny Cueto will pitch one of the two games on Aug. 18 & 19. He started for KC this past Monday, so plotting it out, it would seem that Cueto’s next starts will be on Saturday August 15, and the next would be Thursday August 20. We’ll miss it by one day unless some type of devine intervention would occur.

    • lwblogger2

      Surprisingly, there are a ton of seats left for the Royals 2-gamer.

  11. james garrett

    If a manager can’t get his team to give 100% on the field at all times then he must go.Its his job to put his team in the best position to win and to motivate them to play at the highest level.This is major league baseball and the Reds haven’t faced anything that other teams haven’t faced.This team has given up and are just playing out the season because they have no leadership.

    • lwblogger2

      I’m not seeing that they’ve given up.

  12. sultanofswaff

    Lorenzen’s issue this whole season has been in the most basic task for a starting pitcher—fastball command. Without it, he’s a bullpen guy. At the very least he needs to be in AAA working on it. It’s not like we don’t have options…….

  13. sultanofswaff

    I’m encouraged to read Price’s comments about Suarez. As shown on this site, the issue for this team isn’t the core, it’s the bench/bullpen. Suarez as a super sub would play a huge part in shoring up the bench by playing 5 times a week in different spots and preclude Jocketty from signing more over the hill veterans to 2 year deals. It’s a win-win.

    Barnhart will be a great backup as well…….and if he really hits we could play Mez in LF more often (although I’m not ruling out Winker—-he’s starting to turn it on).

    This team could be scary good at the plate if this sort of versatility could be implemented.

    • PDunc

      Suarez being able handle a “super-sub” role and play adequate defense at multiple positions would be a big help to the team next season. He and De Jesus each filling the super-utility role would go a long way to fixing the bench.
      C: Mes
      1B: Votto
      2B: Phillips
      SS: Cozart
      3B: Frazier
      RF: Bruce
      CF: Hamilton or FA?
      LF: Winker or FA?
      Bench Utility: Suarez (2B, SS, 3B, LF)
      Bench Utility: De Jesus (has played 1B, 2B, SS, 3B & LF)
      Bench Catcher: Barnhart
      Bench ?: I think sign someone who can play all 3 outfield positions and hopefully push Hamilton at Center.

      That looks like a decent starting 8 & bench to me.

  14. Carl Sayre

    Is there something physical as in an injury with Lorenzon or just a dead arm from pitching into his no mans land. The “dead arm” would be understandable considering where he is in his career. The chance that he is injured concerns me,because I don’t trust the staff. The difference in trying to pitch to big league hitters in innings close to or beyond what he is use to may be what is up. The science and medicine of pitching today has to be superior but I don’t remember nearly the injuries when kids in high school and college played a position on the days they didn’t pitch. Big league pitchers didn’t look to the bullpen in the 6th and would be pissed if they didn’t pitch in the 10th if it went extras.

  15. tracyjones29

    Lorenzen threw 120 innings in 2014. So far this season he is already up to 109. I’m sure he’s dealing with rookie fatigue and the transition to become a MLB SP. At this point a six man rotation would make a lot of sense. Developing into a 200 IP guys doesn’t happen overnight and unfortunately with such a young(but potentially talented) rotation there are going to be some major growing pains.

  16. james garrett

    Lorenzen is a young guy with a power arm that is getting valuable major league experience.As long as he doesn’t lose confidence in himself he will be fine.Once he learns to command the strike zone and trusts his stuff he will take off

  17. big5ed

    I kinda like the 6-man rotation idea, just to let them see as many guys as they can, without taxing young arms.

    To me, Lorenzen doesn’t have much command of or deception with his breaking stuff, so hitters lay off of and await his getting a fastball up. When he does, inevitably as a young pitcher, they cream it. Didn’t watch last night; it could have been just one of those games. I once saw Nolan Ryan in his prime get chased in the first inning at Fenway Park, giving up 6 runs and getting out 2 of the 9 guys he faced.

    He has a great arm, but is still pretty green. They probably rushed him, like they did Homer in his day, but he he will learn from his struggles.

    • Big56dog

      Is it really that productive to let him go out and get pounded like that. I know everyone wants to see Stephenson but possibly it is good they are letting him develop. Lamb is the one that puzzles me, what more does he need to do? He is already 25. Its great they are getting results from Holmberg and Sampson but they cannot realistically expect those guys to be a part of any successful rebuild.
      They need to get Lorenzen and Cingrani right and see who is ready to step it up in Spring training

  18. Eric the Red

    Frazier’s AB in the 1st inning was a killer. Yes, Votto hit into a DP, but you still had a guy on third and a shaky rookie pitcher. So Frazier hacks at the 1st pitch and gets himself out. He really needs to be taking more pitches; it might help him find his wallet.