LA Angels' two-way player clearly made perfect decision to quit hitting

Michael Lorenzen, LA Angels
Michael Lorenzen, LA Angels / Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Michael Lorenzen made headlines in the offseason when he announced that he no longer wanted to hit, and that he just wanted to pitch now that he was going to be starting for the LA Angels. Lorenzen has at times in his career been an excellent hitter; in 2018 he slashed .290/.333/.710 (1.043 OPS) with a 170 OPS+.

It clearly seems like it was the right decision, though, as he's been lights out on the mound this year. After his seventh start on Saturday, he advanced to 5-2 on the season with a 3.05 ERA. Sporting a 125 OPS+, he's leaving no doubt that he can be an effective starter on the mound this year for Anaheim.

Lorenzen's not striking a lot of guys out, but it's not wise to expect someone switching from the bullpen to the rotation to strike the same amount of guys out that he was in the pen. Heck, he hasn't been a full-time starting pitcher since 2015. Regardless of who he's striking out, though, he truly has been outstanding.

Michael Lorenzen has a 1.065 WHIP for the LA Angels this season.

Michael Lorenzen may not be striking a lot of guys out, but that WHIP shows that runners aren't getting on when he's on the bump for the LA Angels. Coming into the season, he had walked 3.7 batters per nine innings. This year, he's cut that down to 2.8 walks per nine frames.

The last time he was a full-time starter, he allowed 1.4 HR/9, but this year, he's only allowing 0.9 homers per nine frames. They're not just missing long balls when Lorenzen pitches--Lorenzen isn't even giving up base hits. He's only surrendered 6.8 hits per nine this season.

His .211 BAA is a career-best mark for Lorenzen, in what has been arguably the best year of his career. Going into the season, there were questions as to who Lorenzen could be as a starter--as he had been a poor starter in the past, and a much better reliever. Lorenzen seems to be answering those questions quite a bit in 2022.