Relief Pitcher Michael Lorenzen Homers in 3 Straight At-Bats

July 3, 2018 8:32 PM
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Pitcher Michael Lorenzen Homers in 3 straight at-bats for first time since 2001.

Michael Lorenzen batted .297 while playing outfield in his last season in college. Lorenzen was the 38th overall pick in the 2012 MLB draft and had yet to start pitching. During his development in the minor leagues, coaches and staff could not pass up the chance to use his arm on the mound instead of the outfield.

Being known for his hitting for most of his life, the home runs should not surprise anyone. Afterall, he was drafted for his hitting and power as a youth out of college. The Cinncinatti Reds use Lorenzen mostly as an innings eater out of the bullpen when games are out of hand. However, recently they have started using his bat as a pinch hitter.

Before this season, Michael Lorenzen had a total of two home runs and eight RBI. This week while either pitching or pinch hitting, he has more than doubled his career home run totals. He has hit three home runs this week including a pinch-hit GRAND SLAM to put away the Milwaukee Brewers.

Michael must love what Milwaukee is brewing because all of his homers came off Brewers pitching this week. You may be thinking to yourself, “this has to be the first time this has ever happened!” If you are thinking that, you’re wrong.

In 2001, Mike Hampton of the Colorado Rockies did the exact same thing. Three home runs in 3 at-bats. There are two distinct differences, however. First, Hampton was a starting pitcher in the National League which means he took batting practice before his starts. Lorenzen is a relief pitcher, so he does not take swings before games.  Second, is that Mike Hampton hit his home runs in the thin air in the Rockie Mountains where balls seem to fly out.

The Reds claim that Lorenzen is not the next Shohei Ohtani but if he keeps hitting dingers, they may have something to consider up in Ohio.

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