Reds pitcher Michael Lorenzen ready to become a starter once again

Cincinnati Reds relief pitcher Michael Lorenzen (21) smiles toward Cincinnati Reds catcher Tucker Barnhart.
Pittsburgh Pirates At Cincinnati Reds Sept 15
Cincinnati Reds relief pitcher Michael Lorenzen (21) smiles toward Cincinnati Reds catcher Tucker Barnhart. Pittsburgh Pirates At Cincinnati Reds Sept 15 /
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Michael Lorenzen expects to start for the Reds in 2021.

Michael Lorenzen, speaking to Jon Morosi and Jim Duquette on MLB Network Radio, sounded confident in his intentions to be a starting pitcher for the Cincinnati Reds next season. Lorenzen began his career as a starting pitcher, but has come out of Cincinnati’s bullpen the last several seasons while earning a spot start here and there.

As it stands, the Reds rotation may look quite different as we head into the 2021 season. Trevor Bauer, who just won the NL Cy Young Award, is a free agent. Anthony DeSclafani, who had a down year in 2020, is also on the market.

Cincinnati’s current rotation is likely comprised of All-Stars Sonny Gray and Luis Castillo, left-hander Wade Miley, and the ascending Tyler Mahle. The last spot in the rotation is up for grabs at the moment, and it sounds as though Lorenzen is confident that he’ll earn that spot and maintain it throughout the entire 2021 season.

"“My expectation is to show up as a starter and finish the season as a starter. So, that’s where my mind is at and I’m excited for it.”"

Lorenzen received two opportunities to start last season. In those games, Lorenzen totaled 9.2 innings, 14 strikeouts, and just two walks while posting a 2.79 ERA. Lorenzen’s total pitch count between the two games came out to 169, but if the right-hander knows the expectation is for him to be a starter in 2021, there’s no doubt he can be stretched out and go deeper into games.

The only other player currently on the Cincinnati Reds roster who might outmaneuver Michael Lorenzen for the final spot in the rotation was last year’s rookie Tejay Antone. Antone posted a 2.80 ERA in 13 appearances, including four starts. But, Antone’s numbers were actually better out of the bullpen (1.89 ERA) than we opened the game on the hill (3.86 ERA).

Next. How Stroman accepting QO affects Bauer

If Trevor Bauer exits via free agency, Michael Lorenzen is on deck. The former first-round pick is in the final year of his arbitration window, and Blog Red Machine has advocated for the Cincinnati Reds to investigate signing Lorenzen to a contract extension beyond just the 2021 season. Lorenzen brings a great deal of versatility to the Reds regardless of his role on the team.