Last night, Los Angeles Angels starter Reid Detmers pitched a no-hitter. The Halos also have last year's American League MVP Shohei Ohtani in the starting rotation. But how is former Cincinnati Reds pitcher Michael Lorenzen fairing in first season back home in Los Angeles?
Lorenzen, a southern California native, signed a one-year/$6.75M contract with the Angels during the offseason. Returning home was definitely a motivation for Lorenzen joining the Halos, but so was the opportunity to be a starting pitcher.
How has former Reds RHP Michael Lorenzen faired with the Angels?
As a 23-year-old rookie, Lorenzen started 21 games for the Reds, but a move the bullpen was in the right-hander's future. Lorenzen always envisioned himself as a two-way player and had opportunities to start over his seven-year career in Cincinnati.
Lorenzen would start a total of 26 games during his career with the Reds, and that number might have been much higher had Mikey Biceps been fully healthy last spring. The right-hander was expected to be be the No. 5 starter in the Cincinnati Reds rotation, but was placed on the 60-day IL to begin the 2022 season.
Rather than stretch Lorenzen out once he returned from the IL, the Reds opted to move Lorenzen to the bullpen. The Cincinnati relief corps was so bad last season, it was probably the correct decision for both parties.
Despite the fact that he's starting, most of Lorenzen's numbers are relatively similar to what we saw in 2021. According to FanGraphs, Lorenzen's K/9 and strikeout-rate are about the same as last season. Lorenzen's ERA+ is eerily similar as well.
Of course, here we are in mid-May and Lorenzen has almost the eclipsed the number of innings he threw as a reliever in 2021. The home run ball has also been a bugaboo for Lorenzen this season as his HR/9 is sitting at 1.3 after keeping it at 0.6 in 2021 and 0.8 in the pandemic-abbreviated 2020 season.
A the end of the day, however, what matters is team success. The Cincinnati Reds are at the bottom of the National League Central and the Los Angles Angels are sitting in first-place of the AL West. Whether he's starting or coming out of the bullpen, I think Lorenzen would prefer to be playing winning baseball.