While Major League Baseball is moving in a different direction than the Pitch F/X system for some of their newer tracking services for the 2015 season, several of the parks in Arizona have the system installed and running for spring training. The Reds had a split squad game against Colorado on Monday afternoon and the system was up and running at the home of the Rockies.

Michael Lorenzen threw two innings, but he was very effective, needing only 19 pitches to get through both innings. Fourteen of the pitches were strikes. He threw 12 fastballs, what appears to be two change ups and three sliders with two pitches not registering on the system. With a small sample size to work with, just 12 fastballs thrown, and knowing he could go all out a little easier with just two innings on the day, perhaps he let it go a little more, but Lorenzen was throwing his fastball at 96 MPH on the day.

Just kidding. The 96 MPH fastball that he threw was the slowest of the 12 fastballs that he threw on the day. Four of them were 97 MPH and the other seven were all 98 MPH. Not that velocity in that range is out of the question for Lorenzen, who was throwing in the upper 90’s as a reliever, but as a starter he hadn’t really been in that range. The first thing that went through my mind was to double check the velocities of the other pitchers in the game and they lined up with what you would expect from those players, so it would seem that the Pitch F/X system was accurate on the day.

Maybe the spike in velocity is just because of the limited innings and Lorenzen didn’t have to pace himself as much and let it fly. Or maybe he’s picked up some extra velocity after getting a full season in last year and putting in an incredible amount of work in the offseason.

14 Responses

  1. The Duke

    I think it’s a combination of his arm having gone thorough a full season now, his insane workout program, and a professional staff that may make holding his velocity over full stats a real possibility. We knew he already had the arm talent, and with his commitment to conditioning it could very well be a breakthrough. If he can sit in the mid 90’s with his fastball and maintain control, then I think we might see those strikeout numbers start creeping up.

    Do you expect Lorenzen to start in Louisville given his success in AA last year and how good he had looked so far this spring?

    • Doug Gray

      I expected him to be in Louisville before the spring started and the only question that I have now is: Will he somehow make the Reds bullpen?

      • The Duke

        I hope not, then it’ll be “we can’t afford to not have him in the pen” and there goes a career as a starter like Chapman.

  2. sultan of swaff

    Man, let’s hope the Reds stay in contention until mid-season. I’d love to see what Lorenzen/Stephenson/Winker could do to help the team down the stretch.

    Am I crazy for thinking the Reds have the ability to make the playoffs for the foreseeable future given the quality arms they have developed? It seems to be the X factor when projecting the teams in the NL central over the next few seasons.

    • awa85

      Although there is doom and gloom about the future of the Reds and losing players like Cueto, Latos and so on. Some of these young guys fit holes that should keep the Reds strong for years to come…… hopefully.

  3. fromcubawithluv

    If the uptick in velocity is legit, how would that change how he is viewed as a prospect? obviously may not change that he is third, but wouldn’t this lift him in the the top 100 in all of baseball? maybe into the top 40?

    • Doug Gray

      Depending on where you look, he’s already in the Top 100 (Baseball Prospectus had him in the 60’s). It seems that the concerns other places had with him weren’t so much the velocity (which was lower as a starter than he showed yesterday) and more to do with his lack of strikeouts. Personally, I’ve been saying for a year now that they are going to come with time and I stand by that. With that said, if the uptick in velocity holds for 6 innings throughout the year, he will skyrocket through the rankings.

      • mollyspad

        seeing Lorenzen throw has me less concerned with losing Johnny.

        You lose Cueto and Leake and replace them with Stephenson and Lorenzen who both throw 95-98 and people will think that we are the cardinals.

        and that with a $20 million savings from 2015 and a $40 million savings for 2016

        OK

      • Kevin Davis

        Doug,

        I would think strikeouts would come as he learns his craft better. For me an indication his WHIP is pretty good considering his college career of playing outfield also. I think Browning, Arroyo and Leake show you can be good without sticking out a lot of people.

      • MK Miller

        Certainly we should not make a Cueto comparison. Cueto is a top 5 in baseball pitcher. Nobody in Reds organization is close and will take several years by the current prospects before they can hope to obtain that status.

      • mollyspad

        You mis understand my post MK.

        I am not suggesting that Lorenzen can replace Cueto. I am an advocate of resigning Johnny.

        I am suggesting that we lose 2 pitchers next year, and after seeing Lorenzen pitch, I like what I see am am less concerned with the replacements for 2016 than I was.

        I could also see Lorenzen start on the Reds this year. He may be one of our top 4 pitchers right now.

        Not far fetched after what Leake did out of ASU.

        I would trade Homer Bailey next year to keep Johnny

  4. Dale

    That is some serious juice right there. Who knows maybe he gets the,#5 slot and one of the other guys head to the bullpen

    • The Duke

      Desclafani to the pen as the long man. But could Lorenzen handle a full MLB season yet?

      • Dale

        Probably not but they could flip flop a few time so that both of them keep their inning close to 100 or so? Just a thought.