The Cincinnati Reds have announced that they’ve acquired left-handed pitcher Phillip Diehl on waivers from the Colorado Rockies. He’s been assigned to the alternate site in Louisville for the time being. To create room for him on the 40-man roster the team placed Michael Lorenzen on the 60-day injured list.

Phillip Diehl has limited big league experience. He’s pitched for the Rockies in each of the last two seasons, totaling 16 games and 13.1 innings. The results haven’t been stellar as he’s posted an 8.78 ERA while allowing 17 hits, three home runs, walked three hitters, and he’s picked up 12 strikeouts. The sample size is very small here, so it should be cautioned to not read much into it and that’s before even considering the Coors Field factor in it all.

In 2019 he threw 7.1 innings for the Rockies at the big league level. But he also pitched in Double-A and Triple-A for them. Things were polar opposites at each level. In 11 games in Double-A Hartford he threw 13.1 shutout innings while allowing just five hits and three walks while picking up 12 strikeouts. But in Triple-A, where he pitched in the Pacific Coast League that saw home run records set by nearly every team in the league thanks to the juiced baseball that year in Triple-A, he struggled – like many pitchers did. In 45.1 innings he posted a 6.75 ERA thanks in large part to 15 home runs allowed – or basically three home runs per 9-innings pitched. He walked 15 batters for Albuquerque, but did pick up 52 strikeouts.

Phillip Diehl is a 3-pitch guy, showing a fastball, slider, and a change up – though he’s only thrown one change up in the big leagues over his limited big league career. His fastball doesn’t have much velocity, averaging 90.2 MPH last season and 90.9 MPH in 2019. His slider works in the 77-82 MPH range. Velocity is something that won’t jump out at you, but he spins the ball well and since he was picked up by the Spincinnati Reds, that makes sense. His fastball averaged a spin rate of 2565 RPM in 2020 and his slider was at 2742 RPM.

There were 551 pitchers who threw at least 100 fastballs in the 2020 season according to Baseball Savant. A spin rate of 2565 would rank 25th best in baseball, or in the top 5% of baseball. There were 298 pitchers that threw at least 50 sliders in the 2020 season. A spin rate of 2742 would rank 32nd in baseball, or in the top 11% of baseball. Spin it he does.

For Michael Lorenzen, the right-handed pitcher has been dealing with a shoulder injury that was initially not expected to be a long-term issue, but it’s turned out to be a longer time period off of the mound than initially expected. He last pitched on March 15th in spring training when he threw 3.2 innings against the Los Angeles Angels. Lorenzen, who still isn’t pitching, won’t be eligible to return until May 31st. Unlike the 10-day injured list that can be retroactive into spring training, the 60-day injured list does not work that way and a player on it is not eligible to return until the 61st day of the regular season.

11 Responses

  1. Klugo

    Sucks for Lorenzen, for Antone , for the entire pitching staff, and team.

  2. DaveCT

    Man, a shoulder injury … 60-day.

    This may not be entirely fair, but I hope Lorenzen’s new spring training regimen isn’t part of this equation. I think I’d be more OK if it simply was the same old issue, his arm isn’t suited for starting.

  3. GreatRedLegsFan

    Unless the bullpen is reinforced like right now the team will be out of contention by the end of the month. Getting rid of two proven arms just like that, and without reliable replacements, was a poor management decision. Only three of the current bullpen staff (Antone, Sims and Garrett) can be considered for the long term. Other than that, Manager’s daily decisions are leaving so many questions marks.

    • realist

      Dumping Iglesias and his salary for a guy that didn’t make the team and then dumping Archie Bradley the Reds are frauds how could they not foresee the bullpen problems they are now faced with. Incompetence or cheap skates either is an indictment on the front office.

    • Steve

      Out of contention by the end of April is a hysterical level of hyperbole and overreaction.

    • Max

      You are right but they always try to pick up off the waiver line. How about GM doing better at knowing talent.

    • Old Big Ed

      Archie Bradley gave up 2 runs in 3 innings for the Phillies, before going on the IL with an oblique strain. He is not expected back until early to mid-May.

      Raisel Iglesias has pitched in 6 games for the Angels, three of which were bad outings. He gave up a homer and 2 runs in taking a loss against the Astros. In 2 games against the White Sox, he gave up a homer and 2 runs in a third of an inning, followed by blowing a save with a Fauci-level horrid throw to third base, only to vulture a win when the Angels scored in the next half-inning. Iglesias has yielded 4 earned runs in 5.1 innings, plus another un-earned run on his own error.

      So, there’s that. The Reds’ bullpen hasn’t very good, but Iglesias and Bradley have not been any better.

  4. DataDumpster

    I feel bad for Lorenzen even though I thought that his most valuable role would be good trade bait if the Reds are still in strong contention mid-season. Unfortunately, I now feel bad for the Reds as that possibility may not come about in time for Lorenzen’s free agent coming out. But, the Reds had 6 years with Mike and still to this day cannot decide what his role is on the team. He probably deserved better even though I cannot understand how the expectation that he would be available Opening Day or very shortly thereafter turned into a 2-3 month injury.
    As for this new pitcher, it appears that in spite of the growing needs of the Reds bullpen, the strategy is unchanged in opting for high spin rate, low performance guys with little MLB experience (plus a little extra credit for being an alumnus of David Bell’s HS). Except for possibly Antone (who has A+ skills in many other aspects of the game), I can’t think of any positive outcomes of this gambit.

    • HoF-13

      I would say the jury is still out as to whether the strategy will ultimately pay dividends. I don’t think it is an unreasonable strategy. What I do think that is unreasonable is to expect the strategy to pay off immediately. The new pickups have been with the team for about a month — or less. That isn’t enough time to straighten out problems that have developed over years of time. The team needed/needs bullpen solutions now. The other is an investment in the future.

  5. MBS

    Really disappointed for Mikey Biceps. He was going to get his chance to start again, and that was a big goal for the guy. That’s obviously in doubt, plus this is likely the last year for him as a Red, and he will spend a significant amount of it on the IL.

  6. Max

    Reds fans better hope Garcia can learn to hit slider QUICK! Shortstop is like a dark whole,and does effect Suarez bat he looks uncomfortable at SS.