The Los Angeles Angels attempted to bolster their starting rotation this past offseason by signing free agents Noah Syndergaard and Michael Lorenzen, however, the results still fell short of their expectations after a hot start to the season.
That led to Syndergaard being traded to the Philadelphia Phillies and Lorenzen may have been a trade candidate as well if not for an injury that kept him out for more than a month. However, he also has not posted great results when on the field.
Although the 30-year-old has spent most of his career as a reliever, the Angels utilized him as a starter, and in his 16 starts, he pitched 86.2 innings with an ERA of 4.78 and a 1.30 WHIP. The numbers are not what the club would have ideally envisioned from Lorenzen, and the poor outings have taken a toll on him too, he said via Sam Blum of The Athletic:
“It’s just like,” Lorenzen said before pausing to think. “I don’t enjoy failure. Because you work so hard. I’ve always said some guys are afraid — if they work hard and they get their teeth kicked in, it hurts that much more. For me, it’s one of those things where it’s so hard when you put every waking moment into being as good as you possibly can and you go and give up an eight-spot. And you’ve got a five ERA. It’s just not a good feeling.
“That was one of the things for me, just not working so hard. You’re just trying way too hard.”
Lorenzen is set to become a free agent once again after the season. While his first season with the Angels didn’t go as either side would have hoped, the Anaheim native hopes he can return and be part of the solution to the club’s problems:
“There’s nothing that I want to see more than this organization win and be successful,” Lorenzen said. “Do what the Dodgers are doing. I think we’re so close. … I feel like we’re really close to being really good.
“I want to be on this team when it wins. There’s nothing that I want more than that.”
With a record of 67-86, the Angels have a lot of work to do, specifically with their pitching staff, if they wish to become contenders in 2023. Thankfully for them, in Shohei Ohtani and Patrick Sandoval, L.A. already has two quality arms who can lead their staff while Jose Suarez and Reid Detmers have both shown flashes of potential.
Whether Lorenzen returns to that staff remains to be seen, but regardless, he will need to improve on his results if he hopes to stick in any rotation long-term.
Jose Suarez utilizing new slider
Suarez took to the mound on Sunday to face the Minnesota Twins in the series finale and used it as a chance to experiment by 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. The left-hander spoke about the benefits of adding a secondary slider to his arsenal and was pleased with the results of it.