Michael Lorenzen’s 2021 season was always going to look different. After becoming a stalwart of the Cincinnati Reds bullpen over the last handful of seasons, he entered camp in Goodyear in February with an eye on a spot in the overhauled starting rotation, a job he’d flirted with down the stretch in 2020 but hadn’t truly held since his rookie season.
Unfortunately, a minor shoulder injury put him on the shelf during Cactus League play, though at the time it was assumed he’d be back healthy in somewhat short order even though he began the year on the 10-day IL. On Wednesday, that timeline got more definitive, and not in a positive way. As MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon relayed, Lorenzen has been moved to the 60-day IL, meaning he’ll miss at least another month and a half of action at minimum.
#reds claimed Cincinnati native and LHP Phillip Diehl off waivers from the Rockies and optioned him to alt site. Michael Lorenzen moved to the 60-day IL.— Mark Sheldon (@m_sheldon) April 14, 2021
That bad news was buttressed by news that Sonny Gray will officially return to the Reds rotation for Saturday’s start against Cleveland, so at least there’s a bit of positivity around the Reds staff for now. Still, losing Lorenzen - regardless of which role he was going to assume - adds yet another dent to a staff that already has lost the likes of Trevor Bauer, Anthony DeSclafani, Raisel Iglesias, and Archie Bradley from last season’s run to the expanded playoffs.
Shoveled into the back of that news was the claiming of Diehl, a Cincinnati native and Moeller HS product. He cracked the bigs with the Colorado Rockies in both 2019 and 2020, totaling 13.1 IP in those two stints, and allowed a rough 13 ER in that time. Almost exclusively a reliever in the minors, he’s the owner of a much more respectable 3.34 ERA there over 253 IP, and the 26 year old will report to the team’s alternate site in Louisville for the time being.