One of the secrets to Lorenzen’s success this year was his developing changeup. Working with a nice 15.6 inches of break, the pitch induced a 42.3 K% allowing only 8 hits all season, that’s a .108 batting average. More please.
The curveball was Lorenzen’s least utilized pitch in 2019, and low movement and spin metrics suggest it isn’t a difference maker. A .195 WOBA and 19 wRC+ are offset by a weak opponent BABIP (.231), which should equalize eventually.
Michael Lorenzen can reach the upper echelon of the radar gun—he threw a fastball at 99.6 mph in 2019—and he can strike hitters out with the four-seam (31.0% K rate in 2019), but a 43.9% fly-ball rate suggest he’s playing with fire.
Lorenzen loves the cutter, and in 2019, the cutter loved him back. The pitch yielded a 5.3 pVAL thanks in large part to high ground-ball rates (46.9%) and a middling opponent WOBA. It’s a helpful weapon in the arsenal.
Lorenzen’s slider is nothing to marvel at, though it is a major league-level pitch. A solid 20.8% swinging-strike rate was offset by a skewed .361 WOBA and 130 wRC+, making the pitch decidedly average in 2019.
Lorenzen’s primary pitch took a step back allowing a few too many fly balls for a two-seamer. He let up a few more home runs and could not miss bats as he had in previous seasons. A one mph drop in velocity may have contributed.
Generating more contact, especially out of the zone, Lorenzen’s cutter was able to generate outs with balls in play. He has been getting less ground balls with it than previous seasons, but he did make a change in how it moves off his standard four-seam that may be throwing batters off.
Just like his other offspeed pitches, Lorenzen doesn’t throw his curveball too often. However, he got outs with it by getting the ball on the ground for his fielders to take care of, despite more vertical movement. He only started throwing it in the second half.
Not his primary fastball, Lorenzen throws it hard. 2018 was one of his best seasons with this pitch yet he it not as successful as his others.
Developing as the season went along, Lorenzen got more strikeouts with his changeup than before. However, it still has been a seldom used offspeed pitch as he allows too many hits.