Michael Lorenzen made his first appearance in a game since mid-March when he was pitching for the Cincinnati Reds in spring training. A shoulder injury has kept him off of the mound since then, though he has thrown some bullpen sessions out in Goodyear as a part of his rehab process. Last night the right-handed pitcher took his first step as he took the mound to start the game for the Arizona Complex League Reds – Cincinnati’s rookie level affiliate in Goodyear.

While he did start the game, the plan is for Michael Lorenzen to return to the Reds as a reliever. He started because that way you can assure that the players who are on a finite number of days of rehab get their work in just in case weather comes through, there’s a power outage at the ballpark that means they can’t play once the sun begins to set or it gets cloudy in the evening – whatever the case may be.

The Arizona Complex League Reds were playing in just their third game of the year. As a rookie level affiliate they only play a half-season worth of games with their season beginning on June 28th. Lorenzen, at 29-years-old, is much older than than the players he was facing last night. And he’s far more experienced, too. Not unexpected, of course, for a big leaguer who is rehabbing. But sometimes things don’t go the way you expect in these situations with such a long layoff. That wasn’t the case here. Lorenzen threw a perfect inning, striking out two of the three batters that he faced with the third hitter of the inning hitting a line drive to third for the final out of the inning.

There’s a small chance that Michael Lorenzen could return to the Reds before the All-Star break according to manager David Bell. But it seems more likely that he’ll be back with the team immediately following the All-Star break as long as he gets through his rehab games successfully in the next two weeks.

Alejo Lopez: Hit Collector

When the Cincinnati Reds called up infielder Alejo Lopez from Triple-A Louisville he was hitting .360 between Double-A and Triple-A through 49 games. He had picked up 72 hits already on the season. After a single on the first pitch he saw in his big league debut in a pinch-hitting situation he has started the last two nights for the Reds at third base while Eugenio Suárez got time off. Last night saw Lopez continue to do what he’s been doing all year: Collect Hits.

Lopez came to the plate five times and in four of those opportunities he wound up over at first base after a single. He’s now 5-9 with the Reds since his call up and has hit .368 between the three levels he’s placed at this year.

Mark Kolozvary is heading to Tokyo

The final week of May and the first week of June was 2021 Summer Olympic qualifying for baseball, and Team USA went undefeated as they claimed one of the spots in their region. Cincinnati Reds prospect Mark Kolozsvary played a big part in that, leading the team in home runs, walks, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, OPS, and he finished second in average and runs scored.

Just after noon today Team USA announced the group of players that would be heading to Tokyo later this month for the Olympics. Mark Kolozsvary, unsurprisingly, was named as one of the two catchers. Former Reds Todd Frazier, Patrick Kivlehan, and Tim Federowicz will also represent the United States.

57 Responses

  1. Klugo

    Hope Lopez gets another start today against a RHP.

    • RedBB

      I would expect India to get the day off based on his injury last night.

    • doofus

      If Lopez keeps hitting, then Bell must keep him in the lineup. If not, then Bell must explain why?

    • RojoB

      Nope and nope.

      4 for 5 not good enough, the error notwithstanding—like Suárez hasn’t laid 2 dozen eggs’ worth already. Plus López scored twice.

      How Suárez responds tonight will tell us a lot.

    • Doug

      I agree, I love to watch this youngster play! I think he’s just what the doctor ordered!

  2. Bet on Red

    So Homer Bailey did not make the squad for Tokyo?

  3. redsfan4040

    The Reds are 8 games back and the Brewers are playing out of their minds right now.
    Brewers likely handle the Pirates and the Reds should handle the Cubs this weekend, so likely still 8 after Sunday.
    Brewers get the 1st place Mets and the Reds get the cellar Royals. Then head to head for 4 games before the ASB and 3 games immediately after.
    Last night’s win could be huge to propel the Reds on a run. Getting pieces back. Conversely, Corbin Burnes and Kolton Wong left last night’s Brewers game (though neither seemed serious).

    Halfway through the season, I remain optimistic.

    • Gonzo Reds

      Well, I’m glad someone is optimistic. We’re all still rooting for the Reds but think most of us are at the point we’re trying to figure out which pieces the Reds will be trying to sell off here soon. It’s true, with the immediate games coming with the Brewers there’s reason to evaluate until those are complete to see where we are then. I would think we’ll have to be closer than 5 games out after that to even consider not being a seller.

      My guess is that the first thing contenders will be positioning to add will be relief pitchers so the top ones available will be traded before anything else. By the time the Reds decide to stay in the race, if they do, it might be too late to grab one.

      • MK

        I think Barnhart might bring best return. He will be a free agent this off-season and it’s time to let Tyler take a bigger role. Looks like if Padres want to contend they could upgrade catching. The Reds probably won’t resign with Stephenson there. Wonder if Tucker and Alf Rod could get Kim and some near ready pitching prospects.

    • Tim

      Brewers have had 4 games against the Pirates, 7 vs Colorado, and 7 against Zona. Other than 3 against the Cubs, they were swept by the Reds. I believe that explains why they stand where they are.

      • Doug Schaefer

        Your point should not be lost on anyone. Even when playing the worst of what ’21 offers, no team can keep winning at a 90% clip. It would catch up to them regardless. But the upcoming head-head games w the Brew Crew could give them a nice reality check. Let’s bring them down to Earth. Go Cincy! For life

    • paul j olbert

      brewers have played the rockies 7 times and arizona 3 times and now face pittsburgh –they will cool off when they face real teams –the reds get them before and after the break, so we will know where we stand when it’s time to offload gray, castellanos, etc

  4. doofus

    El Tornillo de Corcho needs more time off. In fact he needs a change of scenery.

    Lopez needs to keep playing.

  5. Jeremiah Grissom

    I don’t think the reds are a playoff team this year. But the future looks good overall. With these young rookie position players it’s exciting. I think Eugenio Suarez days are numbered. Unfortunately his value is not very high so I don’t know if you can trade him for good prospects. A average Bullpen and this team could be dangerous in the playoffs. I don’t know how the Brewers got so good but I think it’s going to be hard to catch them. The Reds maybe should trade Castellanos ig not really in it. They are starting to stockpile a lot of good young talent such as India, Stephenson, Lopez, Aquinz, maybe still Senzel. If you van get good value for Castellanos, maybe Barnhart, perhaps Suarez then maybe you can keep the minors good and be consistently good like the Indians, A’s etc.

    • Jeremiah Grissom

      Just a follow-up thought or two… I would keep Suarez if you had the designated hitter. But his defense and hitting ability are seemingly going in the wrong direction. Reds fans for so long have wanted hitters like India, Stephenson, Lopez who put the ball in play and seem to be clutch. I love Joey Votti, but if you could convince him to retire and have Moustakas at 1b that would benefit the Reds i believe too moving forward. My final thought is I dont think Bell is the manager to get this team over the top. Going into 2022 I’d cut ties with Bell, Suarez, Votto if possible. But just my thoughts which of course could be proven totally wrong in the next couple months!I think overall the Reds at least have hope, and part of cutting Suarez and Votto is they actually have some good talent now pushing for their playing time, especially at 3b.

      • AllTheHype

        Suarez has significant negative trade value. They’re not trading him without eating most of that contract and getting next to nothing in return.

        And the Reds will not ask Votto to retire, especially when he’s had a year where his hard hit % is the highest in many years. He’s stinging the ball and just has not had the luck to show for it this year, yet.

      • LDS

        There are teams that would be glad to have Suarez. And hard hit % in the end is irrelevant as are many of the other metrics folks cling to. What matters is results. I don’t care if his hard hit % is 1.0, he can’t hit a LH’er any longer and it’s not a question of luck.

      • MBS

        I don’t disagree that Suarez has fallen off a cliff. To trade him you’d need to package him, but that diminish return. So you’d be trading a Gray, Castellanos, or Castillo to simply get rid of Suarez. If we were to trade him we don’t have a replacement, assuming we have a DH in 22. I say fixing Suarez is the best plan. Suarez, Moustakes, and Votto will be here until their contracts run out. The good news is we should have a DH to fit the extra player.

      • Jimbo44CN

        Moose over Joey, no way, you have got to be kidding me. Why the hate on Votto when he is playing so much better this year. i just don’t get it.

      • jon vera

        Suarez hitting ability going in the “wrong direction “but you want him to be the DH next year?Convince “Votti” to retire and give up $60m…ok thats going to happen.

  6. Scott Cleaves

    First the positives, Reds fans:
    1) I think India is doing great.
    2) Glad to see Castillo returning to form. I’m sure he is, too.
    3) Regarding the clutch hitting in last night’s game, starting with Farmer… Thank the Lord.

    Now for the rest:
    1) Why, with the bases loaded and two out, to a team we have yet to beat, was Stehphenson swing on a 3-0 count? He promptly flew out to center. Huh?
    2) How about having Lopez bat lead-off, moving Castillo into the four-hole? I know, it may be too soon for the kid, but…
    3) I have yet to see Doolittle throw anything other than a 94mph fastball. Is that accurate? How’s that going to work?
    4) With six available outfielders, what are the Reds waiting for regarding a trade for relief pitching?

    BTW, I saw my first game at Crosley, circa 1966. Little kid, glove in hand, riding the pine in the nosebleeds on the third base side in a seat that probably cost about a buck. Go Reds, and have a good’un fans!

    • wkuchad

      1) Why, with the bases loaded and two out, to a team we have yet to beat, was Stehphenson swing on a 3-0 count? He promptly flew out to center. Huh?

      Batting average / OPS takes a nosedive with a two-strike count. That gives the hitter two strikes to be aggressive. Why give away one of those strikes? If it’s down the middle, put an aggressive swing on it.

      • Scott Cleaves

        …but a walk is a needed run. He could have at least taken one.

    • MBS

      2) I like Lopez as a leadoff. I think a big part of India’s success is batting in front of Winker, and not because of being a leadoff hitter.

      AL, JI, JW, NC would be a fine 1 – 4 when Lopez is in the lineup.

      Plus that would give JI more rbi opportunities. He did well with them especially early in the season.

  7. SultanofSwaff

    The next few weeks will be very interesting. So many moving parts:
    –If Lopez proves he can stick, does that make Senzel a change of scenery candidate to clear the IF logjam?
    –If moving India to SS is off the table, aren’t you forced to play Geno there when Moose and Senzel are back?
    –If Barrero has a great month prior to the trade deadline, does Krall promote him while clearing out some of these redundancies for a bullpen piece?
    –With India playing like a future all-star, where does Moose play?
    –How do you manage playing time with a 3 headed CF platoon?
    –Santillan to the bullpen. If/when a starter goes down, is the next man up Greene or Hoffman (praying it’s Greene)?
    –Does Gutierrez keep his starting spot when Hoffman is ready?

    I think the future is pointing up in a big way and hope the Reds can convince Castellanos to stick around to see it thru. The core is coming together, just need Barrero/Greene/Lodolo to arrive. In the meantime, the division is winnable and a week and a half of good baseball will have the Reds well positioned to reel in the Brewers.

    • Scott Cleaves

      What about trades, Sultan? Staying pat not likely to work out. And who?

      • MBS

        Yes, trade OF depth for bullpen help. Naquin, Senzel, or Shogo. I’d try to trade 2 of these 3 if they can resign Castellanos. JW, NC the remaining one, plus Aquino would be a nice 4 man outfield. If we could get 2 legitimate arms for the pen, the rest of the pieces could fall into place.

  8. Rednat

    I would hold on to Castellanos the rest of the season. this city and these young players and the fans need to experience a winning season. even if we dont make the playoffs. having said that, i would like to see Aquino get more playing time in right field this year. i think he will be a real special player for the reds

    • SultanofSwaff

      Agreed. Both he and the fans need to see the potential of this new core and how he can be the one to lead them as their competitive window opens.

    • JB

      If they keep Castellanos around for the year, then Aquino isnt going to see right field.

      • LDS

        How about 1st base or left field with Winker at 1st? Or assuming the DH, Aquino, Winker, Votto against RH’ers (since he likely won’t retire). The options are endless. Keep Castellanos if at all possible.

      • Another JB

        Aquino shouldn’t see the field at all. His stats are much like Suarez since he had a great month and basically nothing since then

      • JB

        They worked Winker out at first before they did Stephenson and Blandino and apparently it didnt work. Aquino has the height for first and right handed bat. He could play when facing a lefty.

      • MuddyCleats

        At the end of last season, Reds should have developed a plan for RHH 1st baseman. Joey has missed significant time over the last 2-3 yrs, yet only Moose was considered as a sub even though there is a log jam of OFs? Stephenson should have been in the plan then due to his advanced hit tools, and I would have asked Castellanos to consider it as well. Nick has inf. experience: he started his career in the inf @ 3B. He’s tall target at 1st, is aging and could use a break fm OF fm time to time and has even been shaky Defensively at times in the OF. 1B would give Reds and Nick more options in the future w/out relying solely on the DH position. Really seems like a NO Brainer if Nick would b open to it.

  9. SultanofSwaff

    I thought it was totally classy of Barnhart and Suarez to be the biggest cheerleaders for Lopez and Stephenson. A+ character guys.

    • jazzmanbbfan

      I agree and, I am not surprised. Suarez is having an awful year but everything I have seen points to him being a great teammate.

  10. VegasRed

    I admire the optimism, which, candidly, is more effusive after a win. But this team is simply not good enough to be more than about .500.

    The brewers have elite pitching in starters and bullpen. So do the Padres. Brewers can produce runs and will only get better with pickups by FO. The reds by contrast will do nothing.

    What should be noted as progress for the reds is 2020-2021 they are around .500, better than they have done over the last 7-8 years, so there is that.

    With an owner unable/unwilling to contend by retaining the best talent (castellones) and moving on from the veteran mistakes/payroll misses (moose, no ss, bad bullpen), and failure to employ executive expertise in the FO, .500 is about all we are going to see.

    Frankly, it’s better than the dismal 90 plus loss teams that cincy suffers through under this owner.

    • LDS

      And if it costs Bell his job (it won’t), there’s that upside. Barring a new interest in competing from the ownership group and the FO, I think this is as good as it gets.

    • Scott Cleaves

      Unfortunately, I agree with your assessment, Vegas. That’s why I brought up the matter of trades in an earlier post. If they sit on what they have, they aren’t going anywhere.

    • MBS

      Now that Castillo has been righted, I’ll take our 3 into any series with any team. Castillo, Gray, and Miley should be able to keep us in any game. I’m more worried about the 7th 8th and 9th innings. If we are to make a real run we need reinforcements in the pen.

  11. Doc

    It will be fun to watch the change in attitudes once the injured BP pieces are back, and the Reds roar into a successful second half.

    • LDS

      Roar? Wow, I’ve seen some serious optimism here the last couple of days. Earlier this year, everyone was ready to string Hoffman up by his thumbs. And Lorenzen, well the jury is still out. He runs hot & cold, 16, 18, & 19 looked pretty good. while 15, 17, & 20 less so. Who comes back from the DL? And there’s still no SS. Love to see a roar but I’m not banking on it.

      • Scott Cleaves

        Agree, LDS. I’ve been around too long and seen too much to start roaring about this team. If what more injuries crop up? Not happening without a serious trade and I hear you guys saying it won’t likely happen because of ownership. That message, I fully understand. ???

    • Indy Red Man

      Playoff teams don’t go 5-18 (NL West) against other divisions. This season is done. Of course I hope I’m wrong. 8 games back isn’t the end of the world, but they’re almost forced to win atleast 5 of 7 when they play Milw 7 straight before/after the AS break.

      Its still been entertaining because they score runs and the young guys are blossoming! Castillo is still only 28 and throwing 100 mph lasers. Mahle will be 27 soon. The future could be bright!

      • JB

        Milwaukee are sending Burnes,Peralta and Woodruff against us next week and I’ll bet those 3 our of the break. So 6 out of 7 Red’s will get their best.

  12. Don

    80 games down (40-40), 82 to go.

    90 or 91 wins most likely wins the NL Central.
    Brewers will come back, they have been beating up on Arizona, Pirates and Rockies in June. They play teams with better records in the 2nd half.

    If the Reds are not 50 – 43 after the 7 games vs Brewers and 3.5 games or less out.

    If anyone will take Suarez, take what is offered.
    If Moose comes of IL before trade deadline, take any offer.
    Trade Naquin and Barnhart for pitching help that is under team controlled in 2022 and 2023 or at AA or AAA to start MLB contributions in future years.

    Farmer and Suarez have virtually the same OPS and OPS+ and Farmer is a much better defensive SS.

    Young players are having success and bring excitement to the team.
    Play Stephenson 5 out of 7 games
    Play Farmer until Barrero is ready.
    Play Aquino and Akiyama in Center with Aquino 5 of 7 games.
    Play Lopez and Senzel at 3rd base in 2nd half
    Naquin was Senzel for the indians, I am sure they regret letting him go.
    Put Senzel in the IF will lead to more health.

  13. Roger Garrett

    Sure is entertainment and the future is bright but will ownership look to that and makes moves to fill in the holes.

  14. MuddyCleats

    I agree to a pt, but then again consider that he ranks in the TOP 10 of ALL MLB 3B in Runs, HRs and RBIs!

    Even w/ the Ks and low batting avg., he’s in the Top Ten in those three important categories. Likewise, his Def @ 3B has been excellent – only ONE error fm what I can tell? Overall though it is positive attitude that makes him easy to pull for and a great teammate. I think he can improve AB, but I wonder if the Reds R asking / helping him to? Comments by Mark Sheldon in a recent Reds Newsletter lead me to believe they R NOT asking him to make swing adjustments or put in extra work?

    • MuddyCleats

      Comments to Jazzmanbbman last comment on Suarez

  15. Jimbo44CN

    Lots of negative comments here, and I kind of understand why but am still surprised. We are seeing a lot of young players with potential and playing well for the first time in a very, very long time. India, Stephenson, Lopez, Guitteirez, even Santillan, Winker and Aquino. For this reason alone this season is much better than the past I don’t know how many years, and you never know how a game will turn out with this crew. Also, with the better play by Barnhart and Votto, the NL central is still within reach. Fun to be a Reds fan, at least for me.

    • Scott Cleaves

      Negative or realistic based upon experience, Jimbo? Just askin’.

      • Jimbo44CN

        Experience, I watched the game last night. Also, I have been a Reds fan since I was old enough to remember, probably 1962.