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Reds: David Bell failed to protect Michael Lorenzen from himself

Cincinnati Reds base runner Michael Lorenzen heads towards third in the tenth inning of the MLB baseball game.
Cincinnati Reds base runner Michael Lorenzen heads towards third in the tenth inning of the MLB baseball game.
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Call it what you want; arrogance, ignorance, pride, ego. No matter which way you slice it, the Cincinnati Reds will likely be without their best reliever going forward. Michael Lorenzen injured himself scoring on a sacrifice fly in the 10th inning of last night’s ball game. David Bell has to take full ownership of this one.

After spending the first-half of the season on the 60-day IL with a shoulder injury, Lorenzen returned to the mound last night a threw a scoreless eighth inning to keep the Reds within striking distance of the Milwaukee Brewers.

Michael Lorenzen stayed in the game to hit and then play the outfield, something he’s done in the past. Lorenzen spent the top of the ninth inning in right field and then moved to center field in the top of the 10th inning. In the bottom of the 10th inning, Lorenzen scored on Tyler Stephenson’s sacrifice fly, but came up lame on his way to the plate.

Reds skipper David Bell has to take ownership of Michael Lorenzen’s injury.

Now, I’m not going to say that David Bell caused Michael Lorenzen’s injury. That’s a foolish statement. However, what I will say is that Bell, who’s a player’s manager, failed to use his better judgement and the result is a likely trip to the IL for his best reliever. Bell took the blame after the game. Here’s a quote from Bell via MLB.com:

"“I put him in that position, and he wasn’t ready for it. I’m hoping, for his sake more than anything, but also for our team, that he comes out tomorrow and it’s not severe. That’s all we can hope for at this point.”"

At least Bell recognizes his fault. That’s the first step to admitting you have a problem, right? Bell, who’s historically been questioned for his managerial decisions, has been more well-received by the Cincinnati fanbase this season. However, this latest hiccup is likely to stoke the fires again.

This is a case of failing to protect the player from himself. Sure, Michael Lorenzen has played the outfield before. Yes, Lorenzen has pinch hit and pinch run several times over his career. But after being away from the field for so long, there’s no way that Lorenzen was in “game shape”.

However, David Bell, rather than listening to his head, listened to his gut and allowed Lorenzen to hit, field, run, and pitch. Lorenzen does one of those things really, really well, but now the Reds may have lost one of their best bullpen arms; something this team could ill-afford to do.

Here’s wishing Michael Lorenzen a speedy recovery. The 29-year-old is one of the best pure athletes in baseball, and if I was going to bet on a quick turnaround from any player on the Reds roster, it’d be him.

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I’m sure David Bell is beating himself up this morning. Hindsight is always 20/20, but the only thing the Cincinnati Reds can do it go out on Sunday and attempt to get at least one game from the visiting Milwaukee Brewers. Bell is a player’s manager, but this was one of those instances where he needed to protect Michael Lorenzen from himself.

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