Having finished the regular season 31-29, the Reds are gearing up for their first playoff appearance since 2013. However the postseason ends for the club, though, it will face important questions in its starting rotation heading into 2021. National League Cy Young candidate Trevor Bauer (whom the Reds unsurprisingly want to re-sign) and fellow right-hander Anthony DeSclafani are due to become free agents in a couple months, so Cincinnati will have questions to address in its starting staff.
Fortunately for the Reds, they do have a few notable starters locked into spots going into next year. Luis Castillo, Sonny Gray, Tyler Mahle and Wade Miley are slated to remain in place, so the Reds are already in better shape than a lot of teams even if they lose Bauer and/or DeSclafani. But if a worst-case scenario happens and both players depart, the Reds are interested in moving reliever Michael Lorenzen to their rotation, Bobby Nightengale of the Cinncinati Enquirer relays.
“He’s put himself in that conversation,” pitching coach Derek Johnson said of Lorenzen. “Where we need to go depends on who is going to come back, who we’re going to get.”
Lorenzen first debuted in 2015, a year in which he amassed 21 starts in 27 appearances, but has largely served as a bullpen piece since then. The 28-year-old has been a useful member of the Reds’ staff throughout his career, having pitched to a 3.97 ERA/4.28 FIP with 7.8 K/9, 3.71 BB/9 and a 48.5 percent groundball rate across 444 1/3 innings. Lorenzen’s also known for his prowess at the plate (at least, compared to most pitchers), but if he moves into a starting role next year and the universal DH sticks around, at-bats could be hard to come by for him.