2:28pm: Lorenzen had a setback in his initial recovery from the shoulder strain and, after getting a second opinion from a specialist, recently received a plasma-rich platelet injection, MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon reports. He’s scheduled for a second such injection in two weeks, and the Reds are hopeful that he’ll be able to return sometime in the month of June. That, of course, is dependent on how his shoulder responds to the pair of injections, though.
2:21pm: The Reds announced Wednesday that they’ve claimed lefty Phillip Diehl off waivers from the Rockies and optioned him to their alternate training site. Righty Michael Lorenzen was transferred to the 60-day injured list in a corresponding move. Lorenzen has been battling a shoulder strain, and manager David Bell recently told reporters that the right-hander’s recovery was “not going as fast as [Lorenzen] would like.”
The waiver claim represents a homecoming for the 26-year-old Diehl, a Cincinnati native who attended Moeller High School before playing his college ball at Louisiana Tech. The Rockies acquired Diehl from the Yankees in exchange for Mike Tauchman — a trade they’d surely like back — and Diehl has been tagged for 13 runs in 13 1/3 innings to this point in his brief career. It’s a small sample, so take this with a grain of salt, but all 13 of those runs have come in 6 1/3 innings at Coors Field; Diehl is unscored upon on the road.
Diehl was hit hard in his lone season of Triple-A ball, recording a 6.75 ERA and serving up a staggering 16 home runs in 45 1/3 frames. That came in 2019’s juiced ball season, however, and he was excellent throughout his minor league career to that point. He boasts a 0.90 ERA in 40 innings of Double-A ball and a 3.15 mark across two Class-A levels. On the whole, he’s punched out a hefty 30.5 percent of the hitters he’s faced in the minors against a similarly impressive 7.1 percent walk rate. Diehl also has a minor league option remaining, so it’s not too tough to see why the Reds were intrigued.
With regard to Lorenzen, it’s an unfortunate development for one of the game’s more interesting players. Lorenzen has been one of the Reds’ top setup men in recent years but was also a part-time outfielder — a strong defender in center field with a career .235/.284/.432 batting line in 146 career plate appearances. He’s belted seven homers in that time and also chipped in a trio of doubles, a triple and even five stolen bases (in seven attempts).
The Reds were planning to give Lorenzen an audition in the starting rotation this year, but it seems the shoulder troubles will table that experiment through at least the season’s first two months. Lorenzen’s initial 10-day IL placement was on Opening Day, retroactive to March 28 — the maximum three days allowed when backdating an IL stint. He’ll be eligible for return 60 days from that point, not from today’s transfer.
In the meantime, the Reds will look forward to getting Sonny Gray back in the near future. He’ll join Luis Castillo, Tyler Mahle and Wade Miley as locks in the rotation. Jeff Hoffman has gotten a pair of early looks, too, but at some point one would expect electric multi-inning reliever Tejay Antone to get an opportunity to show he’s worthy of a rotation job.