Michael Lorenzen is coming off of what has to be his worst season as a professional. The right-handed pitcher entered spring training with the hopes to take a spot in the Cincinnati Reds rotation, and for a while there it looked like it was going to happen. Even after his injury near the end of the spring didn’t seem to get in the way of that plan….. at least at first. What was initially believed to be a short term injury in which he could return in a few weeks turned into an injury that cost him the entire first half of the season and one in which when he did return, he did so as a reliever instead of heading to the minors to build up innings to try and start.
When Lorenzen returned he found plenty of success in the first seven weeks. He pitched in 15 games from July 17th through September 4th and allowed just four earned runs in 16.2 innings (2.16 ERA) and didn’t allow a home run, walked 8 batters, and he struck out 14. But things went south after that as he began to pitch more, making 12 appearances in the final four weeks of the season and allowed 14 earned runs in 12.1 innings (10.22 ERA) with 6 walks and 7 strikeouts. That stretch raised his ERA to 5.59 on the year.
Not all was well with Lorenzen when he returned, pitching with a strained hamstring during the season after coming back from his shoulder injury he suffered in spring training. The 30-year-old told Bobby Nightengale of the Cincinnati Enquirer that he’s hoping to sign with a team that will give him the chance to be a starting pitcher. He also noted that he hasn’t ruled out re-signing with Cincinnati.
After starting as a rookie in 2015 he’s only made five starts in six seasons since then with the Reds. But even back in 2016, and all along the way, Lorenzen made it known that he hoped to return to the rotation.
Nick Castellanos, the Reds, and their options
The big headline with Nick Castellanos this offseason seems to be his option where he can opt out of his current contract and become a free agent. The overwhelming belief is that he will do just that as he is coming off of arguably his best season at the plate and could likely get a better deal than the 2-years and $32,000,000 he has remaining if he chooses to stay with the Reds.
If Castellanos does opt out, the Reds can try to get *something* in return for that by offering him a qualifying offer. Buster Olney of ESPN reported on Wednesday that this year that will be $18.4M (for 1 year). What kind of draft pick they would get in return if Castellanos were to turn that down would depend on the contract he signed as a free agent, and which team signed him.
Minor League notes
The Arizona Fall League begins this afternoon. The Cincinnati Reds will have seven prospects in the league this year and they will be on the Surprise Saguaros. You can read about all of them and some of the “interesting” rules that will be in play this year over at RedsMinorLeagues.com.
Minor League Baseball has some awards that are up for a vote. Only one Reds player made the list: Dauri Moreta is up for reliever of the year. Before joining Cincinnati for the final week of the year, the 25-year-old reliever went 6-0 with a 1.02 ERA in 53.0 innings between Double-A Chattanooga and Triple-A Louisville. If voting online for people and things is your jam, here’s the link to stuff the digital ballot box.
The Louisville Bats are involved in another one of the awards, though, sort of. In the blooper of the year category Alfredo Rodriguez is tossed from the game, Pat Kelly comes out to argue, and in the process the home plate umpire’s belt breaks and he has to borrow a belt from another umpire before the game can continue.