When Michael Lorenzen suffered a slight right shoulder strain at the end of spring training, the Cincinnati Reds were hopeful that he’d miss only one or two turns in the rotation.
It turned into a worst-case scenario.
Lorenzen isn't eligible to return until at least May 31 after he was transferred on the 60-day injured list Wednesday. The Reds claimed left-handed pitcher Phillip Diehl, a Cincinnati native and Moeller grad, off waivers from the Colorado Rockies. Diehl was optioned to the Triple-A alternate site in Louisville and fills Lorenzen’s spot on the 40-man roster.
Lorenzen pitched in a “B” game at the Reds’ spring training complex on March 20 when he stopped in the middle of the third inning because he felt “a little bit of a stretch” in his shoulder. He missed the first two months of the season in 2018 because of a grade 1 strain of the teres major near his right shoulder.
A few days before the Reds broke camp in Arizona, on March 27, Lorenzen had a setback when he attempted to throw a bullpen session. Then his shoulder didn’t progress the way that Lorenzen or the Reds expected in the following three weeks.
The Reds are hopeful that Lorenzen will be ready to return when he’s eligible after the 60 days on the IL. He’s expected to receive a PRP injection and avoid surgery.
“We’re going to know more when we get back on Friday,” Reds manager David Bell said about Lorenzen on Sunday. “I was texting with him (Saturday) and I’m going to sit down with him – I think we all are – just to get a better sense for where he is. I know it’s not going as fast as he would like. I don’t exactly know what that means but I know this week he’s spent a little time with the doctor to try and get a plan in place to see exactly where he is. I’d feel better after sitting down with him on Friday and maybe giving an update more when we get to Cincinnati.”
Diehl, 26, was designated for assignment by the Rockies last Saturday. The former Moeller standout was a 27th-round pick in the 2016 MLB Draft by the New York Yankees out of Louisiana Tech. He was traded to the Rockies in March 2019 for outfielder Mike Tauchman.
He made 16 career big-league appearances in 2019-20, yielding 17 hits and 13 runs in 13 1/3 innings (8.78 ERA). He’s struck out 12 and walked three. He was the 14th Moeller product to reach the Majors and he’ll play under another Moeller grad, Bell.
Diehl fit as a Reds target on the waiver wire because of the movement from his slider. He throws his fastball around 90 mph.