Michael Lorenzen

Michael Lorenzen

31-Year-Old PitcherSP
Detroit Tigers
15-Day IL
Injury Groin
Est. Return 4/21/2023
2023 Fantasy Outlook
Lorenzen broke camp in the Angels' rotation last year after spending seven seasons as primarily a reliever and a two-way curiosity. That led to a fair amount of interest in how he'd look in the new role, but the results were rather bland. Unsurprisingly, his durability concerns didn't suddenly dissipate when moving to a starting role, with a shoulder injury costing him over two months. In 18 starts, he managed a forgettable 4.24 ERA, a mark that looks quite fair given his 4.31 FIP. His 20.7 K% and 10.7 BB% were both on the wrong side of league average, something his above-average 50.2% groundball rate couldn't entirely make up for. The whole package adds up to a capable back-end starter but nothing more. The Tigers evidently like him in that role, signing him to a one-year deal in December. The move brings him to a pitcher-friendly park in a weak division, which could increase the number of starts in which he's a worthy streamer, but he shouldn't be much more than that. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
#550
ADP
$Signed a one-year, $8.5 million contract with the Tigers in November of 2022. Contract includes additional $1.5 million in incentives.
Officially shifts to IL
PDetroit Tigers
Groin
March 30, 2023
Lorenzen (groin) was placed on the 15-day injured list Thursday, retroactive to March 27.
ANALYSIS
Manager A.J. Hinch confirmed last week that Lorenzen would begin the season on the shelf due to the groin strain he was diagnosed with March 20, and that transaction is now official. The right-hander recently threw a bullpen session and could progress to facing live batters within the next week or two.
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Pitching Stats
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Left/Right Pitching Splits
Since 2021
 
 
-3%
BAA vs RHP
2023
No Stats
2022
 
 
-7%
BAA vs RHP
2021
 
 
-13%
BAA vs LHP
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2021vs Left .231 260 49 36 51 13 0 8
Since 2021vs Right .225 276 57 22 56 10 0 5
2023vs Left 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2023vs Right 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2022vs Left .233 187 39 27 37 10 0 6
2022vs Right .217 224 46 17 44 8 0 5
2021vs Left .226 73 10 9 14 3 0 2
2021vs Right .261 52 11 5 12 2 0 0
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Home/Away Pitching Splits
Since 2021
 
 
-60%
ERA at Home
2023
No Stats
2022
 
 
-51%
ERA at Home
2021
 
 
-77%
ERA at Home
ERA WHIP IP W L SV K/9 BB/9 HR/9
Since 2021Home 2.64 1.07 64.2 6 2 4 8.1 3.5 0.7
Since 2021Away 6.53 1.55 62.0 3 6 0 7.0 4.8 1.2
2023Home 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2023Away 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2022Home 2.77 1.13 48.2 6 2 0 8.7 3.7 0.9
2022Away 5.69 1.43 49.0 2 4 0 7.0 4.4 1.1
2021Home 2.25 0.88 16.0 0 0 4 6.2 2.8 0.0
2021Away 9.69 2.00 13.0 1 2 0 6.9 6.2 1.4
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Michael Lorenzen See More
AL FAAB Factor: Waiver Pickups of the Week
5 days ago
Erik Siegrist digs into the American League free-agent pool ahead of Opening Day as Anthony Volpe appears ready to take over the starting shortstop role for the Yankees.
Mound Musings: A Look at Pitching in the AL Central
29 days ago
Brad Johnson breaks down the pitching situations in the AL Central, starting in Chicago where Johnson expects Lucas Giolito to have a bounce-back season.
The Z Files: Shifting Pitchers to Target
32 days ago
Todd Zola considers how pitchers like Sandy Alcantara might be affected by the new shift rules, which should lead to more groundball hits for lefty batters.
Todd's Takes: Wrapping Up Last Year's Moves
72 days ago
Todd Zola tackles another large set of offseason moves, including big names like Carlos Rodon as well as several players to consider late in drafts.
Collette Calls: Pitching Bold Predictions Reviews
160 days ago
Jason Collette analyzes what he got right and what he got wrong with his preseason pitching predictions, including an outstanding season from Dylan Cease.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
2022
2021
2020
2019
2018
2017
2016
2015
Lorenzen's outlook has been particularly tricky over the past couple years, as he's been talked up as a potential starter, closer and part-time outfielder during his time with the Reds. Finally a free agent this offseason, he signed a one-year, $7 million deal with the Angels and is now expected to work out of the rotation. He came up as a starter in 2015 with 21 starts and a 5.40 ERA, but he found success out of the bullpen over the past five years with a 3.65 ERA. Lorenzen struggled last season with a 16.8 percent strikeout rate and 11.2 percent walk rate that led to a 5.59 ERA, but his 4.17 FIP leaves significant room for improvement. Departing the hitter-friendly Great American Ball Park will also help his outlook. Lorenzen remains somewhat of a question mark given his transition back to the rotation after five years, but his career 19.9 percent strikeout rate doesn't seem likely to significantly improve while working as a starter, which could limit his upside.
Lorenzen is a riddle wrapped up in an enigma. Is he a potential closer? Is he a part-time outfielder? Is he a starting pitcher? He's currently projected to have a chance to win a spot in the starting rotation this spring after closing out the 2020 regular season as a starter, and that's his stated desire. Lorenzen did well in a cameo version last season, but previous iterations as a starter didn't fare well. With a full offseason and spring training to stretch out, he should be able to handle the workload, and it's fair to suggest that he's a different pitcher now than when he first arrived in the majors. He posted a swinging strike rate north of 14% for the second season in a row, whereas before he had trouble finishing off hitters. With those K's also come more walks unfortunately, as he walked 12.0% of the hitters he faced in 2020. He's best drafted as an endgame player or streamer.
Lorenzen has earned a lot of acclaim for his ability as a two-way player, but that doesn't do justice to how much he improved as a pitcher in 2019. The fifth year player turned in his best season under the tutelage of pitching coach Derek Johnson (a common refrain). He added velocity, and saw his K% rate spike from 15.7 to 24.8, while lowering his BB% from 9.9 to 8.2. Barring a big offseason acquisition for the bullpen, Lorenzen is the best in-house alternative if the Reds decide to move away from Raisel Iglesias as the closer, and was successful when used in the role, converting seven save chances. As they continue to improve their offense, they might use Lorenzen less as a hitter, however. As he had more at-bats, he became less effective, turning in a good-for-a-pitcher line of .208/.283/.313 in 53 plate appearances, although he trailed only Aaron Judge in average exit velocity (95.7 mph).
The first thing everyone mentions with Lorenzen is his hitting, and we'll follow suit. The right-hander was a two-way player in college and clearly has retained some of those hitting skills, posting a .290/.333/.710 line with four homers in 34 at-bats. He's the rare pitcher who is used as a pinch hitter not only in extra-inning affairs, but also as a primary option. But his primary position is as a pitcher, and unfortunately in that department the Reds still aren't quite sure what they have on their hands. He was out for nearly two months with a shoulder injury, and after returning he was really wild, turning in walk rates over 10% each month until September. He made three starts in late September, with decent but not great results (four earned runs over 13.2 innings with a 5:5 K:BB). Lorenzen is hoping to impress new manager David Bell and earn a rotation spot in spring training.
Lorenzen was the reliever that Reds manager Bryan Price trusted the most to get games to closer Raisel Iglesias, though that didn't always manifest itself in a traditional setup role. That was especially true early in the season when the Reds were off to a good start, and the games were critical enough to identify key situations early in the game -- notably once in the third inning against the Pirates. The Reds initially envisioned multiple relievers sharing in the save chances, but instead Iglesias colllected 28 of their 33 saves, with Lorenzen getting just two. He faltered badly in the second half, posting a 6.32 ERA after the All-Star break. Pitching as a starter no longer seems to be in the offing for Lorenzen, despite some musings midseason last year, so expect more of the same from him in 2018.
Rebuilding clubs often need to push prospects into big league situations sooner than they otherwise would. Lorenzen, who struggled in the majors in 2015 and missed the first two and a half months of 2016, definitely fell into that category. The Reds needed any help they could get and so the 24-year-old was sent to the majors as soon as his elbow healed up. After two years experimenting as a starter, Lorenzen was moved back to the bullpen and looked much sharper in the role. His average fastball velocity moved up to 96.2 mph, he struck out 48 batters in 50 innings and he cut his ERA nearly in half from the year before. The Reds have decided not to mess with success -- they will keep Lorenzen in the bullpen in 2017. He may see some high-leverage relief work, but Drew Storen and Raisel Iglesias will be the top candidates for save opportunities.
Most pitching prospects need to spend significant chunks of time at each minor league stop on the prospect ladder in order to be fully ready to contribute at the big league level. This is especially important if the prospect in question isn't that polished to begin with. All of this applies to Lorenzen, who was thrown into the Reds' rotation in late April, but appears to have not been ready for the task. Lorenzen played the outfield and pitched relief in college before the Reds converted him to starting. While Lorenzen had a 1.88 ERA in six Triple-A starts, his strikeout ratio was a microscopic 4.0 K/9, a harbinger for his struggles against major league hitters. Lorenzen could benefit from spending a half-season in Louisville in 2016, but it's uncertain whether he'll get it given the lack of veteran starting pitchers in the organization.
Lorenzen doesn't fit the mold of most prospects. Many organizations were interested in the Cal-State Fullerton attendee as an outfielder, but the Reds drafted him in the supplemental first round in 2013 as a relief pitcher, then converted him into a starter beginning at the Arizona Fall League. He got pounded there, but that frequently happens in a high-offense environment against many advanced hitting prospects, especially with pitchers with less experience like Lorenzen. The Reds quickly got him out of High-A Bakersfield, instead allowing him to develop at a higher level in Double-A Pensacola, albeit at a much friendlier ballpark for pitchers. He blossomed there, posting a 3.13 ERA over 120.2 innings while allowing just nine homers all season. The one question is whether Lorenzen can convert his stuff (94 mph fastball, good slider) into a better strikeout rate as he becomes more experienced. Thus, the Reds aren't likely to promote Lorenzen aggressively to the majors in order to get him to learn how to employ his range of pitches better.
More Fantasy News
Resumes mound work
PDetroit Tigers
Groin
March 29, 2023
Lorenzen (groin) threw a bullpen session earlier this week and will throw another one Thursday, Evan Petzold of the Detroit Free Press reports.
ANALYSIS
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Will begin season on IL
PDetroit Tigers
Groin
March 24, 2023
Tigers manager A.J. Hinch confirmed Friday that Lorenzen (groin) won't be a part of the team's Opening Day rotation, Chris McCosky of the Detroit News reports.
ANALYSIS
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Opening Day status in doubt
PDetroit Tigers
Groin
March 24, 2023
Lorenzen (groin) will progress his throwing and begin a running progression over the weekend, Cody Stavenhagen of The Athletic reports.
ANALYSIS
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Manager unsure on last spring start
PDetroit Tigers
Groin
March 21, 2023
Tigers manager A.J. Hinch said Tuesday that Lorenzen (groin) is uncertain to make his final Grapefruit League start, Evan Petzold of the Detroit Free Press reports.
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Nursing mild left groin strain
PDetroit Tigers
Groin
March 21, 2023
Lorenzen has been diagnosed with a mild left groin strain, Evan Woodbery of MLive.com reports.
ANALYSIS
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