Reds should avoid reunion with soon-to-be Phillies free agent pitcher

Michael Lorenzen will be a free agent after the World Series.

Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Michael Lorenzen
Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Michael Lorenzen / Rich Schultz/GettyImages

The Philadelphia Phillies were bounced from the MLB Postseason on Tuesday night after the upstart Arizona Diamondbacks won four of the last five games and won the NL pennant.

Michael Lorenzen, who began his career with the Cincinnati Reds, is one of the few Philadelphia players who'll be a free agent this offseason.

Lorenzen was an energetic, hard-throwing reliever who pitched for the Reds from 2015-2021 and is sure to garner plenty of attention on the open market. However, Cincinnati should avoid a reunion with the free agent-to-be.

Reds should avoid reunion with Michael Lorenzen

Michael Lorenzen, though he threw a no-hitter after joining the Philadelphia Phillies at the MLB trade deadline, is not the same pitcher that Reds fans remember. Lorenzen used to blow away the opposition with a 95-plus mph fastball. But that's not who Lorenzen is anymore.

The past few seasons have seen a downturn in velocity from the right-hander. And while that's not surprising given that Lorenzen has gone from a reliever to a starter, the velo isn't the only aspect of the right-hander's game that has suffered.

Lorenzen's four-seamer is still his bread and butter, but the former first-round pick just isn't getting the swings and misses he used to. Lorenzen's whiff-rate, according to Baseball Savant, dropped from 25.2-percent in 2022 to 21.6-percent this season.

Lorenzen's 17.8-percent strikeout-rate is nowhere near what it was when he was a reliever, and has dropped off since his 2022 (20.7-percent) season as the Los Angeles Angels' starter.

If the Cincinnati Reds are in the market for a middle-of-the-pack starting pitcher who won't cost them an arm and leg, there are better fits than Michael Lorenzen. Lorenzen's ground ball-rate took a hit this last season as well, and keeping the ball on the ground is essential for any hurler at Great American Ball Park.