The Cincinnati Reds two way experiment with Michael Lorenzen is about to begin in earnest, as he will pitch, and then play the outfield, on Monday.
Michael Lorenzen‘s exploits with the bat have certainly grabbed the attention of the Cincinnati Reds. The reliever has occasionally been used as a pinch hitter, showing excellent power potential and a decent bat. Understandably, as teams are embracing two way players more and more after the success of Shohei Ohtani, the Reds have looked to turn Lorenzen into a two way player as well.
That journey will begin in earnest on Monday. Lorenzen will pitch an inning, and then he will spend time in center, getting his first game action in the outfield.
Thus far, Lorenzen has pitched well in Spring Training. Over his five innings of work, he has allowed two runs on four hits and a walk, striking out four. The Reds obviously feel that he is close to ready in regards to his pitching arm, allowing them to take this next step in his development.
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Over his career, Lorenzen has had his moments with the bat. He has a lifetime .250/.276/.500 batting line in 92 plate appearances, drawing two walks and striking out 29 times. However, Lorenzen has hit six career home runs, giving the Reds hope that he can take his hitting to another level.
That hope may have manifested last season. Lorenzen had a .290/.333/.710 batting line in 34 plate appearances, drawing both of his career walks and striking out nine times. He hit four home runs and a double last year, an impressive showing for any pitcher.
There is certainly an opportunity for Lorenzen if he proves that he can learn to play center. Right now, the Reds list Scott Schebler as the starter in center, although prospect Nick Senzel is also getting a look there to get his bat in the lineup. If Lorenzen can prove competent in the outfield, he may get some playing time in the regular season as well.
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Michael Lorenzen’s two way journey is beginning in earnest on Monday. It will be interesting to see how his debut in the outfield goes.