Just a quick post before the afternoon game: Chris Welsh said on the TV broadcast last night that the drop in velocity for Lorenzen’s fastball, from the 95-96 range to the 92-93 range, means he has to be a different kind of pitcher – one Lorenzen isn’t used to being. He can’t blow the fastball by hitters. That adjustment might be contributing to his command problem.

But beyond poor command, Lorenzen has been getting hit hard. And that could definitely a product of the decrease in velocity.

Here’s data from Brooks Baseball that shows Lorenzen’s velocity game-by-game.

Brooksbaseball-Chart

LorenzenVelocity

Needless to say, there’s a big difference between pitching at 96 and pitching at 92.

As I’m sure they realize, the club has to figure out if Lorenzen is suffering from a temporary condition like dead arm, or fatigue from how much he’s pitched. I’ve been reading up on Tommy John surgery for an upcoming post(s) and the studies are clear that pitching with a fatigued arm puts the elbow at risk. Lorenzen’s great physical conditioning could help with that.

It’s important to keep in mind how little starting (all pitching, for that matter) experience he has. Coming to firm conclusions about his future potential and role right now is premature.

25 Responses

  1. Tom Gray

    Numbers speak for themselves. Pitching in MLB is different (tougher) than MiLB. The MLB hitters can hit 95-96 MPH fastballs better than MiLB batters.

    I think Lorenzen needs more AAA seasoning and experience.

    • msanmoore

      At AAA, what specifically would he work on and learn that would make him a better MLB pitcher? Is the problem now his secondary pitches? Sheer volume of innings isn’t going to be any different given wins and losses mean very little at this point.

      If he’s suffering from fatigue, then you cut him back and put him in the bullpen or some other appropriate move (we’re soon coming on September call-ups anyway). If his mechanics are the problem, I still think Price is the one (currently) to help work that out. Even if he isn’t the best choice for manager, he’s a fantastic choice to lead all these young arms.

      IMO, AAA work isn’t the cure for Billy, or Michael, or any of these guys. It’s August and they are tired – we need to account for that. But MLB experience now (as opposed to the phantom that is Spring Training) will show us who can contribute and who needs to fade away.

      All worth exactly what you paid for it, mind you. My thoughts are my own and I’m not the stats guy. Just a Reds fan who reads most everything on RLN and loves the game.

      • msanmoore

        OK – I definitely agree with the Homer comparison. It took a lot longer than it “should” have with him. And in 2016, I think we’ll have more options that are pitching at a higher level in April than Lorenzen.

        Good points … I’ll grant you the same +91.2 I gave the others.

      • Carl Sayre

        Who worked with HB in the minors? I am trying to be patient because these young pitchers are getting into innings they have never seen. The ones who should be stretched out from innings in the minors have been facing a higher stress level at the Majors. I am optimistic about the huge number of quality young arms the Reds have. I know that not all are going to translate to being successful at the ML level but yeehaw look at the chances. I am worried about ML health because of the large drop off, makes me wonder is he hiding an injury or is the staff hiding it from us?

      • Tom Gray

        Ted Power has been Louisville Bays P coach for last 10 years. HB pitched under his tutelage in 2006-07-08-09 there.

  2. WVRedlegs

    Welsh also said the movement on Lorenzen’s fastball isn’t there any more either. There were a few that only hit 90 and 91 last night. And those came in belt high out over the middle of the plate and ended up way back at the wall. I suppoe the Reds will most likely put Lorenzen on the DL to rest his arm. He really isn’t needed in this condition. There are other alternatives than having Lorenzen keep getting shelled. Shock & Awe type bombardments have hit Lorenzen his last two games, and it is time to shut him down for a few weeks. Something isn’t right with him.

    • msanmoore

      +90.2 – his current innings pitched per ESPN.

  3. cleveredsguy

    Lorenzen has been solid in his rookie campaign but to be honest I don’t see him being very successful sitting at the 90-93 range on his fastball. His secondary stuff is pretty flat and just okay. He struggles with command of all his pitches, and even when he could throw 95-97 the fastball was still hittable because the hitters could just wait for it since he couldn’t throw anything else consistently for strikes.

    I like the kid but he has got to work on his secondary pitches. He seems like he has the potential and the work ethic, he just needs more time to develop. Putting him on the DL to rest his arm would probably be beneficial as he’s probably approaching an inning count he has not approached before.

  4. citizen54

    My guess is fatigue. He is approaching the amount of innings he pitched last year. I would shut him down after one or two more starts.

  5. big5ed

    I don’t know if the data is available for the minors, but my guess is that he is throwing more pitches per inning this year than he did in the minors. And without looking it up, he likely is throwing more per inning now than he was earlier in the year.

    One idea would be to give him some rest by skipping him for a start, and then get him 2-3 more starts to close out the year.

  6. IndyRedMan

    Ok stat nerds or nerds that follow stat nerds rather……you track total sweat molecules per inning on each player at AA and above so can you tell me how often Lorenzen has worked inside compared to someone like Disco? I’m guessing that Disco has pitched inside more than twice as much as Lorenzen…..but its just a guess.

  7. ohiojimw

    With the influx of pitching talent and potential the Reds org has experienced in the last year why persist in trying to teach an outfielder to be a starting pitcher or even reliever, especially when the organization has such a paucity of position player talent in its minor league ranks?

    I’m not even saying that at the time the decision was made push Lorensen as a starting pitcher that it was a bad decision given that the team was looking at 4 of the 5 rotation pitchers becoming FA eligible at the end of 2015. But consider what has happened since. They’ve signed Iglesias. They’ve acquired Disco. Garret has committed to baseball full time and is emerging as a potential stud starter. Stephenson has seemed to get back on track. They’ve picked up Sampson who looks like he could be a keeper. Then in the last 3 weeks they’ve acquired 4 additional prospects who rank as likely or more so than Lorensen to be middle to top of the rotation starters and who are further along in their development than Lorensen.

    Meanwhile the org is dying for outfielders in particular. Lorensen was an All American CF at a major D1 program, Cal State Fullerton. His final year at CSF he posted an OPS a .927 OPS with an OBP of .412 over 227 ABs. Don’t they owe it to themselves to at least see what the guy might be as an OF?

    And what’s the opportunity cost? His arb and service time clock would be on hold if he was on option in the minors. And if he can’t cut it as an OF, they simply make a reliever out of him which fits the skill set he has demonstrated to date.

  8. Jeff Morris

    I wonder if Lorenzon will make it as a starting pitcher? He was a reliever in college. Might be a real hard transistion from reliever to starter? We will see. Maybe they should try him as an outfielder, since he played there at Fullerton and did well….

    • Charlotte reds

      He certainly could be tired, he also looked to me to be aiming the ball instead of simply cutting it loose. He seemed to be up in the strike zone more and didn’t have much movement. Not a great combination. It’s probably a combination of a little fatigue as well as confidence given his chuck and duck ways lately.

      • Tom Gray

        From what I read (elsewhere) Lorenzen has only been SP in 2014 (AA) and 2015 (AAA and Reds). He has clearly been rushed to MLB this year. His last 2 months (prior W on June 21) have been pretty ugly.

  9. Curt

    Lorenzen has been hitting pretty well, any chance he might be considered for an outfield position ? He was an amazing outfielder in college.