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.