The Cincinnati Reds have recently given Michael Lorenzen several starts in center field. Does the reliever have a future in the outfield?
The last three years, Reds Country has not had much to root for when it comes to baseball in September. David Bell will hope to change that in the coming years, but for now, he’s doing what most managers do with a team that’s out of contention; tinkering with the lineup. The Cincinnati Reds have started Michael Lorenzen in center field the past several games.
The Reds currently lack depth in center field. With Nick Senzel out for the remainder of the season, Lorenzen could receive even more starts. A a two-way player in college at Cal State-Fullerton, Lorenzen has started the last three games in center field. If Mikey Biceps plays well over the next few weeks, he can prove worthy of earning more playing time in the outfield.
Personally, I love this move, as the Reds do not have anything to play for, so why not give him a chance to be an everyday player. The real question is, if Lorenzen can perform these next two weeks, does he have a real shot at being an everyday player in center field?
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Most people believe that Nick Senzel already has center field locked down heading into next season. Then again, Senzel was originally drafted as a third baseman and spent the majority of the past two seasons in the minor leagues playing in the infield.
Lorenzen has been one of the best pitchers out of theReds bullpen this season, but some believe that he could also be one the top hitters on the team as well. If Bell is in that camp, that could bring up talk of Lorenzen transitioning into being a true two-way player in 2020.
Only one other player in Major League Baseball, Brendan McKay of the Tampa Bay Rays, has appeared in that role this season. Though, McKay’s only other role has been as a designated hitter, not playing the field. Perhaps Lorenzen can join that elite company over the next two weeks.
As you may have heard, Lorenzen did something that only Babe Ruth in all of MLB history had accomplished on September 5th. Lorenzen was the winning pitcher, played the outfield and hit a home run in the same game. This was Lorenzen’s first homer of 2019 after smashing four in 2018.
Lorenzen has slashed a solid .239/.288/.462 with 7 home runs and 23 RBIs in limited plate appearances over five seasons. This further proves David Bell’s point that he deserves an opportunity in center. If Lorenzen can prove himself before this season ends, he could solidify himself as a legitimate major league hitter.