Michael Lorenzen wanted to become a full-time starter heading into the 2022 season, and he found a home in the Los Angeles Angels rotation before a right shoulder strain threw a snag in his season.
The Anaheim, Calif. native was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in the 2013 Major League Baseball Draft, and after seven seasons in the National League, he signed on with the Angels on a one-year $7 million contract. The right-hander spent the bulk of his time in MLB as a reliever but was determined to make the switch to the rotation.
His first eight games with the Angels were fairly solid, posting a 3.19 ERA, 3.97 FIP, and a 5-2 record. However, Lorenzen had lost his ability to miss bats, only registering 31 strikeouts in 48 innings during that stretch.
When the calendar turned to June, Lorenzen began to falter. His June 4 outing against the Philadelphia Phillies saw him allow five earned runs on five hits, including five walks over 5.2 innings. Through the rest of the season with that start included, he would tally a 5.26 ERA, 4.64 FIP, and yielded 29 walks in 49.2 innings.
In the middle of that brutal stretch was a two-month stint on the injured list for a strained shoulder. His return wasn’t anything spectacular, as he battled his own traffic on the basepaths, all the while he was vocally projecting his wishes to stay in L.A. with the Angels past the 2022 season.
He would end the season with a combined 4.24 ERA, and 4.31 FIP, amassing a 1.0 WAR in 18 starts. for the Angels. They would go on let Lorenzen test the free agent market while shifting their focus elsewhere.
Michael Lorenzen 2022 highlight
Any game against the Oakland Athletics was a highlight for Lorenzen this past season. In four games against them, he posted a 0.38 ERA, and a 0.95 WHIP, including 23 strikeouts in 24 innings pitched (four starts).
The Angels did not bring him back to his hometown club, instead, he signed with the Detroit Tigers on a one-year deal worth $8.5 million, which includes $1.5 million in possible performance incentives.
He will look to find better success in the rotation with Detroit, and he could become trade bait at the deadline for a Tigers team in the midst of a rebuild.
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