Lorenzen allowed one unearned run on one hit in a no-decision against the Brewers on Tuesday, striking out three and walking one in four innings.
Making his first start of the year, Lorenzen threw 52 pitches (36 strikes) and pitched very well against one of the better hitting lineups in the league. In 43 appearances the right-hander has a 3.03 ERA, 1.32 WHIP and a 52:30 K:BB in 71.1 innings this season. It's uncertain at this point if Lorenzen will make another start or head back to the bullpen.
Lorenzen will take the mound as the starting pitcher versus the Brewers on Tuesday, Bobby Nightengale of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports.
Lorenzen has not started a game for the Reds since the 2015 season but should be able to provide a few innings of work since he's regularly used as a multi-inning reliever for interim manager Jim Riggleman. Across 42 appearances this year, he's logged a 3.21 ERA and 1.37 WHIP with 49 strikeouts over 67.1 innings.
Unfortunately for Lorenzen, more attention has been paid to his prowess at the plate than on the mound. His 2.70 ERA is reasonable but deceptive, as he's allowed 14 walks in 33.1 innings. The best part about Lorenzen's line is that he has not given up a homer yet this season.
Despite Lorenzen hitting a pinch-hit grand slam in Saturday's win over the Brewers, the Reds are not planning to change Lorenzen's role, MLB.com's Mark Sheldon reports. "I think the way you use Mike is kind of what we're doing," Reds interim manager Jim Riggleman said on Sunday. "Try to pitch him in two- or three-inning segments where we're not going to use him the next day and/or two days, and then have him available to hit when needed. ... We don't have any thoughts or plans yet to even discuss doing anything with him except what we're doing now. We're not going to look to have him start a game at something other than pitcher."
Lorenzen now has three homers on the season including two as a pinch hitter the last two games. But while his bat gives the Reds more flexibility, including the ability to avoid double-switching when he comes into games, he won't be a two-way player anytime soon.
Lorenzen wasn't available to pitch Wednesday after pitching the previous two games against the Braves, but he was used as a pinch-hitter and was available to play in the field, MLB.com's Mark Sheldon reports.
This isn't the first time Lorenzen has been used as a pinch-hitter. In fact, last season he even hit a pinch-hit homer. Lorenzen was a good hitter in college and was considered a possible two-way player when drafted. That won't happen - interim manager Jim Riggleman said that any play in the field will be on an emergency basis only. Meanwhile, Lorenzen has produced good ratios since coming off the DL, with a 1.77 ERA and 1.28 WHIP, albeit with eight walks in 20.1 innings. As a measure of how much he is trusted with the Reds, he already has three holds and a save.
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