The LA Angels caught a lot of heat for signing Michael Lorenzen in the offseason over the likes of the pricy Justin Verlander's, Max Scherzer's, and Robbie Ray's of the world. I won't lie--I gave the Halos a lot of crap for the signing myself.
I didn't mind the signing, but thought he should be pitching out of the bullpen instead of the rotation. He had been a much better bullpen pitcher heading into this season through his career than a starting pitcher. Check out his numbers as a reliever (left) vs his numbers as a starter (right) entering this season:
17-13 record//////////6-10 record
3.74 ERA//////////4.95 ERA
1.284 WHIP//////////1.605 WHIP
.238 BAA//////////.286 BAA
8.1 K per 9 IP//////////6.8 K per 9 IP
So far, however, Lorenzen has proven me wrong on that. Lorenzen has thrown three starts, and is 2-1 on the year. He sports a 2.93 ERA to go along with a 130 ERA+. With a WHIP under 1 at 0.978, he's only allowing 5.3 hits per nine innings. He's been light out so far for a much-improved Angels' rotation.
Michael Lorenzen has looked significantly better since he's been with the LA Angels.
When Michael Lorenzen announced that he would no longer be a two-way player now that he can start full-time in the LA Angels' rotation, that probably should have been seen as a warning. It probably should have been seen as a warning that Lorenzen was taking the pitching side of the game very seriously, and to the fullest extent now.
Can Lorenzen continue this success? Well, that remains to be seen. This is not the pitcher he's been throughout the rest of his career, so a regression to the mean is possible. What he showed in April, however, is that he certainly has potential to be quite the pleasant surprise in the Halos' starting six. Perry Minasian has certainly been smiling while watching Lorenzen pitch this year--that's for certain. He may have just proved to have picked up Lorenzen on a gamble just a few months ago.