2. Michael Lorenzen
It hasn’t been pretty for Lorenzen since he came over from the Detroit Tigers at the trade deadline. The All-Star hurler has completely lost his way, losing his rotation spot after putting up a 7.96 ERA and a 7.45 FIP over a five-start stretch from Aug. 18 to Sept. 11.
The move to the bullpen hasn’t gone much better, as he’s already given up 4 runs on 3 hits and 3 walks in just 1 1/3 innings of work over 2 relief appearances so far.
At this point, there’s definitely a case to be made for leaving Lorenzen off the postseason roster altogether. If he can’t start and can’t relieve, then what value does he have?
Call me crazy, but I still think Lorenzen might be okay in a bullpen role. His second outing was much better than his first, as he pitched a clean inning and picked up the save against the New York Mets. That gives me hope that he could still be an effective reliever once he gets acclimated to his new role.
Lorenzen’s ability to start and relieve also makes him a valuable part of the pitching staff. Normal pitcher usage goes out the window in October, so it’s good to have versatile arms like Lorenzen who can go multiple innings when needed.
Lastly, it’s worth remembering that Lorenzen was lights-out during his only postseason appearance, racking up 6 strikeouts over 2 2/3 scoreless innings against the Atlanta Braves in 2020. There’s a good chance we’ll have to go through the Braves at some point, so being able to rely on Lorenzen against them could be key.