Looking ahead to next season for the Los Angeles Angels and their starting rotation, they could look inward to find value when reinforcing their front-end, mainly with Michael Lorenzen.
Lorenzen was added prior to this season on a one-year contract, but his output and availability have limited his overall numbers. The 30-year-old has posted a 4.78 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, and 4.61 FIP across 86.2 innings pitched this year.
He’s hinted that a return to the Angels wouldn’t be difficult to coordinate, and he’s even garnered a vote of confidence from manager Phil Nevin, via Sam Blum of The Athletic:
“I think he can,” Angels manager Phil Nevin said of the possibility of Lorenzen starting long-term. “The question for him is staying healthy. Because he hasn’t done this since college.
“Do I think he can start at this level? Absolutely. Obviously, the biggest question is if he’s going to stay healthy an entire year, and pitch at a high level the entire year.”
Lorenzen has dealt with injuries this season and missed over two months between July and Sept., but he’s yet to record a scoreless appearance in nine straight starts dating back to May 28.
Jose Suarez debuts slider
Angels starter Jose Suarez took to the mound on Sunday to face the Minnesota Twins in the series finale. With it figuring to be just his second-to-last start of the 2022 season, each performance could be an indicator of his future with the team.
Suarez took it as a chance to experiment, adding a new secondary slider that projects to be about four miles per hour faster than his normal slider. He threw it 33 times on Sunday, registering eight whiffs. In total, Suarez gave up just two earned runs on eight hits and one walk while striking out six.
The start brought his season ERA down to 4.06 in a career-high 102 innings pitched. Suarez has seen slight dips in a number of major categories from his breakout 2021 campaign but has been phenomenal since the All-Star break, posting a 2.84 ERA and a 1.105 WHIP since July 26.