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Former Reds pitcher Michael Lorenzen drawing strong interest as a starter

Cincinnati Reds relief pitcher Michael Lorenzen (21) throws a pitch.
Cincinnati Reds relief pitcher Michael Lorenzen (21) throws a pitch. / Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
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Michael Lorenzen spent the first-half of the 2021 season on the IL with an injured shoulder. That injury, however, has not deterred teams from viewing the former Cincinnati Reds pitcher as a starter.

According to FanSided's Robert Murray, Lorenzen is drawing strong interest in free agency from teams on the west coast.

The Reds had plans to allow Michael Lorenzen to start in 2021.

It's no surprise that Michael Lorenzen is drawing interest on the open market. The right-hander has a good mix of pitches and posted decent numbers last season.

What's a bit surprising is that Lorenzen is being viewed as a starting pitcher; something he's always desired to do. Lorenzen started three games in 2018 and two more in 2020.

Lorenzen began his Reds career as a starting pitcher, with 21 of his 25 games played as a rookie coming as a starter. The following season, Lorenzen made 35 appearances, all out of the bullpen.

Lorenzen was slated to be the Cincinnati Reds No. 5 starter this past season, but a shoulder injury sidelined the California native during spring training.

Lorenzen began to rehab midway into the season, but it was decided that he'd offer the best benefit to the team if he were to return to the bullpen rather than be stretched out as a starter.

Lorenzen went 1-2 in 27 games as a reliever in 2021. The 29-year-old posted a rather unsightly 5.59 ERA just one year after putting up a 4.28 ERA in 18 appearances during the abbreviated 2020 season.

In 2019, Lorenzen was arguably the Reds best relief pitcher. Appearing in 73 games, Lorenzen carried a 2.92 ERA and punched out 85 batters over 83.1 innings.

Several teams on the west coast including the Seattle Mariners, Los Angeles Angels, and San Francisco Giants are likely to be in the market for starting pitching this offseason.

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It's highly unlikely that Michael Lorenzen will return to the Cincinnati Reds next season. The Reds will not be looking at Lorenzen as a starter, and likely won't pay what it'll take to keep him.

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