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Thread: Michael Lorenzen

  1. #16
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    Re: Michael Lorenzen

    Quote Originally Posted by wastedtime View Post
    Well, he's been used strictly as a reliever in the minors. I'm not sure if that means they are planning on using him that way, or if they are limiting his innings.
    That's pretty much what I'm asking. I just wouldn't mind if they viewed him as strictly a bullpener. But it would be interesting if they didn't give him a chance to start.

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  3. #17
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    Re: Michael Lorenzen

    Quote Originally Posted by nate1213 View Post
    That's pretty much what I'm asking. I just wouldn't mind if they viewed him as strictly a bullpener. But it would be interesting if they didn't give him a chance to start.
    Am I wrong in thinking the fast tracking of Lorenzen gives away their intentions a bit? Seems like they wouldn't be in a hurry to rush him to AA if he was set to go back and start next season. With the pen pretty well in order for another year or so, I don't know why you wouldn't give it a shot.

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    Re: Michael Lorenzen

    Quote Originally Posted by Superdude View Post
    Am I wrong in thinking the fast tracking of Lorenzen gives away their intentions a bit? Seems like they wouldn't be in a hurry to rush him to AA if he was set to go back and start next season. With the pen pretty well in order for another year or so, I don't know why you wouldn't give it a shot.
    I think the reason is that some good arms have to be devoted to the bullpen. The pen can't simply come off the scrap heap. A few top arms need to be devoted to the pen.

    Reds are devoting Stephenson, Cingrani, Travieso to the rotation. Same with Corcino who maybe gets back on track next year. Rogers is a second tier prospect for the back end of the rotation.

    Right now, I don't see them devoting any top prospect arm to the pen. Lorenzen is really the only one I can think of. I don't see the problem with it.

  5. #19
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    Re: Michael Lorenzen

    Quote Originally Posted by Kc61 View Post

    Right now, I don't see them devoting any top prospect arm to the pen. Lorenzen is really the only one I can think of. I don't see the problem with it.
    The problem with it is that you can take iffy starters and turn them into good bullpen arms. Sam Lecure and JJ Hoover were middling type starting pitching prospects. They are outstanding bullpen arms. Alfredo Simon used to be a starter. Manny Parra used to be a starter. Sean Marshall used to be a starter.

    When it comes to Lorenzen, it is a bit different given how little he has pitched in his life. But teams don't commit elite arms to the bullpen before they have to for a reason.

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    Re: Michael Lorenzen

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    The problem with it is that you can take iffy starters and turn them into good bullpen arms. Sam Lecure and JJ Hoover were middling type starting pitching prospects. They are outstanding bullpen arms. Alfredo Simon used to be a starter. Manny Parra used to be a starter. Sean Marshall used to be a starter.

    When it comes to Lorenzen, it is a bit different given how little he has pitched in his life. But teams don't commit elite arms to the bullpen before they have to for a reason.
    You can fill out a bullpen, your middle relievers, LOOGYs, inning eaters, depth guys, sixth-seventh inning guys from failed starters and second-tier prospects. No problem with that at all.

    But a top bullpen needs a few elite arms. Closers, eighth inning guys, highest leverage spots. All relief positions, all bullpen spots, not the same.

    IMO, a team should devote most top prospect arms to the rotation, but not all. Some very good arms should be trained as relievers to help fill the key late inning roles.

  7. #21
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    Re: Michael Lorenzen

    Quote Originally Posted by Kc61 View Post
    You can fill out a bullpen, your middle relievers, LOOGYs, inning eaters, depth guys, sixth-seventh inning guys from failed starters and second-tier prospects. No problem with that at all.

    But a top bullpen needs a few elite arms. Closers, eighth inning guys, highest leverage spots. All relief positions, all bullpen spots, not the same.

    IMO, a team should devote most top prospect arms to the rotation, but not all. Some very good arms should be trained as relievers to help fill the key late inning roles.
    I don't think there is a single arm in the Reds bullpen that isn't a former starting pitcher. Chapman, Broxton, LeCure, Hoover, Marshall, Simon, Parra, Partch, Villarreal and Ondrusek all started at times in the minors. Only Justin Freeman was a non-starter who has pitched in the bullpen this year as far as I can recall.

    Looking at the saves leaders in MLB right now, here is the top 10:
    Johnson - former starter
    Kimbrel - always a reliever
    Nathan - former starter
    Rivera - former starter
    Holland - almost always a reliever
    Mujica - former starter
    Soriano - former starter
    Balfour - former starter
    Chapman - former starter
    Grilli - former starter

    It is a crude way to look at it, but 80% of the top 10 saves guys in the Majors as of today were starting pitchers at some point in their careers.

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    Re: Michael Lorenzen

    The traditional idea of using every good arm as a starter, initially, is changing. MLB.com published an article on this point on May 31.

    The downward trend on offense is largely the function of power arms in the bullpen. Guys coming in throwing 99 MPH, one after the other.

    As a result, teams are identifying guys as relievers earlier and earlier. Even colleges are using top arms in the pen.

    The Reds recognize this. The devotion of Chapman to the pen relatively early in his career is a key example. Kimbrel is viewed as an important example as well.

    I think we'll find that the modern thinking on this will follow these examples. Teams will more aggressively allocate their top arms between the rotation and the pen, depending on their view of suitability for each role.

    It won't always happen immediately upon the draft. Some guys will begin their development in the rotation and switch, and vice versa. But I think we'll see these decisions be made earlier in development. That will be the modern trend IMO.
    Last edited by Kc61; 08-18-2013 at 02:10 AM.

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    Re: Michael Lorenzen

    I hope it isn't a trend because it is just a bad idea to limit the impact an elite level arm can have. Elite level bullpen arms can be made from fringy starting pitchers.

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    Re: Michael Lorenzen

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    I hope it isn't a trend because it is just a bad idea to limit the impact an elite level arm can have. Elite level bullpen arms can be made from fringy starting pitchers.
    I think the idea that top relievers have "limited impact" is being challenged today.

    Teams like the Braves and Pirates have successfully put much reliance on their pens and achieved great success so far. The average NL OPS against bullpens is lower than against starters.

    So teams are unwilling simply to rely on failed starters or the waiver wire for relievers. It's becoming too important.

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    Re: Michael Lorenzen

    Quote Originally Posted by Kc61 View Post
    You can fill out a bullpen, your middle relievers, LOOGYs, inning eaters, depth guys, sixth-seventh inning guys from failed starters and second-tier prospects. No problem with that at all.

    But a top bullpen needs a few elite arms. Closers, eighth inning guys, highest leverage spots. All relief positions, all bullpen spots, not the same.

    IMO, a team should devote most top prospect arms to the rotation, but not all. Some very good arms should be trained as relievers to help fill the key late inning roles.
    Have you watched the last month? The lockdown back end of our bullpen has been a trio of fringy or downright failed starters.

    I don't see us aligning our views on how to assemble a bullpen anytime soon, but I don't understand your point about making the decision to groom prospects as relievers earlier. What's the benefit of that? You can take a bunch of starters and put them in the pen at the drop of a hat. It doesn't work the other way. By allocating a certain number of high upside arms to the pen at twenty or twenty one years old, haven't you just dwindled your supply of starting prospects for no reason?
    Last edited by Superdude; 08-18-2013 at 03:49 AM.

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    Re: Michael Lorenzen

    Quote Originally Posted by Superdude View Post
    Have you watched the last month? The lockdown back end of our bullpen has been a trio of fringy or downright failed starters.

    I don't see us aligning our views on how to assemble a bullpen anytime soon, but I don't understand your point about making the decision to groom prospects as relievers earlier. What's the benefit of that? You can take a bunch of starters and put them in the pen at the drop of a hat. It doesn't work the other way. By allocating a certain number of high upside arms to the pen at twenty or twenty one years old, haven't you just dwindled your supply of starting prospects for no reason?
    The major advantage of assigning a reliever's role early is that the pitcher can be fast tracked to the big leagues. A pitcher like Lorenzen, as a reliever, can be in the big leagues in a year as a reliever. It helps you get young, controllable, relatively cheap talent in the big leagues sooner.

    As a starter, the pitcher needs to learn multiple pitches, it takes a longer time, more coaching in the minors. A guy like Leake is an exception, a very polished college starting pitcher, but a pitcher like Lorenzen, a relatively raw pitcher who throws very hard, can often be in the bigs much more quickly in the pen.

    In terms of dwindling the supply of starting pitchers, keep in mind that there are only five starting spots. Yes, you need depth, but the late inning relief spots are important too.

    In terms of the Reds, neither Broxton nor Chapman has ever started a game in the major leagues. In both cases the decision was made relatively early to move them to the pen. These decisions today are being made even earlier.

    Not saying every prospect should be made a reliever, not saying you can't have guys that switch from starting to relief, or vice versa. Just once in awhile it makes sense to take a very good arm and devote it to relief.
    Last edited by Kc61; 08-18-2013 at 11:26 AM.

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    Re: Michael Lorenzen

    I will never buy the idea that it makes sense to take a good arm and devote it to the bullpen without exhausting the idea of starting it first. Mechanics plays the biggest role for me. Bad mechanics that you can't change? Sure, bullpen. Otherwise, you put big arms in the rotation and hope it works out. If it hasn't by 23-24, you move them to the bullpen when they are already in AA and fast track them. If you have any kind of depth at all in your system, you can do that every single year.

    Last year the Reds made the move with Partch and Ravin. This year it has been Lotzkar. Potential other options are Rogers, Smith, Crabbe and Renken (who was just moved to the bullpen). Contreras is going to be in the bullpen, though I think they really should explore the option of him as a starter longer.

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    Re: Michael Lorenzen

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    I will never buy the idea that it makes sense to take a good arm and devote it to the bullpen without exhausting the idea of starting it first. Mechanics plays the biggest role for me. Bad mechanics that you can't change? Sure, bullpen. Otherwise, you put big arms in the rotation and hope it works out. If it hasn't by 23-24, you move them to the bullpen when they are already in AA and fast track them. If you have any kind of depth at all in your system, you can do that every single year.

    Last year the Reds made the move with Partch and Ravin. This year it has been Lotzkar. Potential other options are Rogers, Smith, Crabbe and Renken (who was just moved to the bullpen). Contreras is going to be in the bullpen, though I think they really should explore the option of him as a starter longer.
    Not to debate this longer but the idea that the Reds can't devote a single top flight arm to the bullpen is just very wrong to me. Other teams come in with guys throwing 98 and we're going to counter with the guys you listed?

    The only way to have relievers throwing 98 and blowing guys away is to put those kinds of arms in the bullpen occasionally.

  17. #29
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    Re: Michael Lorenzen

    Quote Originally Posted by Kc61 View Post
    Not to debate this longer but the idea that the Reds can't devote a single top flight arm to the bullpen is just very wrong to me. Other teams come in with guys throwing 98 and we're going to counter with the guys you listed?

    The only way to have relievers throwing 98 and blowing guys away is to put those kinds of arms in the bullpen occasionally.
    Josh Ravin, Curtis Partch and Carlos Contreras have all hit 98 MPH.

    Sam LeCure seems to be doing just fine topping out at 90.
    JJ Hoover is awfully good throwing mostly 91-93.

    Tim Crabbe is a guy who can hit 95 as a starter. Tossing him in the bullpen could put him into that category regularly.

    I am not saying you don't eventually put guys in the bullpen. I am saying you try them as starters for a while before making that move because starters are just so much more valuable than relievers and even iffy starters can be turned into very good relievers.

  18. #30
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    Re: Michael Lorenzen

    Quote Originally Posted by Kc61 View Post
    In terms of dwindling the supply of starting pitchers, keep in mind that there are only five starting spots. Yes, you need depth, but the late inning relief spots are important too.
    Just because we've had some good luck doesn't mean all starting pitching prospects pan out and flood your rotation. It pays to have as many rolls of the dice as possible. And starters are simultaneously capable of pitching in the bullpen. If you can keep both options available, the only reason to eliminate starting is to fast track someone, which unless you have a good reason for it, is shortsighted most the time.


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