What the Phillies Got in Michael Lorenzen

Michael Lorenzen of the Detroit Tigers

One of the more notable moves on Deadline Day was the trade of Michael Lorenzen. The ex-Tigers right-hander was traded to the defending NL champion Philadelphia Phillies, a team that’s currently in the thick of a fight for a playoff spot. Here’s a closer look at Lorenzen.

Related: What the Padres Got with Rich Hill and Ji-Man Choi

A Look at Lorenzen

New Phillies right-hander Michael Lorenzen had a decent 2022 campaign with the Angels, but it was nothing that it would indicate that he would become an All-Star the following year. However, the 31-year-old became a bit of a different pitcher with the Tigers — and excelled.

Last season, Lorenzen would make regular use of his sinker, four-seamer, sweeper, changeup, and cutter. In 2023, Lorenzen hasn’t used the sweeper and cutter as much, increased the usage of his high-spin four-seamer and his slider, and turned in impressive results.

The 31-year-old posted a strong 3.58 ERA across 105 innings over 83 innings. His strikeout numbers have gone down, but he’s been largely effective at pounding the zone and limiting walks.

July was Lorenzen’s best month, as he posted a very impressive 1.14 ERA and struck out 21 over 23 frames. His 1.14 ERA was third-best among all pitchers that threw at least 15 innings in July, as only Javier Assad (0.47) and Blake Snell (0.56) had better figures. And since the start of May, Lorenzen’s 3.04 ERA is 11th-best in the league (min. 60 IP).

The Phillies did have to part with a high-end prospect in Hao-Yu Lee in order to get Lorenzen. The 20-year-old infielder hit .283/.372/.401 with five home runs and 18 extra base hits in A+, and reports indicate he can turn into a solid MLB hitter with the chance to add more power to his game in the coming years (h/t MLB.com).

What it Means for the Phillies

The acquisition gives the Phillies a back-end starter that Philadelphia will hope can provide stability to that part of the rotation. Philadelphia has received good production from Cristopher Sanchez, but uneven results in recent weeks from LHP Ranger Suarez.

Ultimately, though, the Phillies will need the team’s two frontline starters, Aaron Nola and Zack Wheeler, to be aces. Nola’s struck out 111 batters since the start of May, seventh-best in the Majors. But, the right-hander also has a 4.43 ERA and gave up 20 home runs over the last three months. Only the recently-demoted Tyler Wells gave up more (21).

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