Michael Lorenzen could have fit in well in this Angels rotation

May 28, 2022; Anaheim, California, USA;  Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Michael Lorenzen (25)
May 28, 2022; Anaheim, California, USA; Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Michael Lorenzen (25) / Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Angels signed Tyler Anderson to fill one of their two vacant starting pitcher slots. The other one remains empty. The Angels plan to go with an internal option as their sixth starter.

Phil Nevin says the sixth starter could be used as a swingman. He'd be used both as a starter and a reliever. This makes me think that someone like Jaime Barria could make sense for the role, but does it make sense to move him from a role he was clearly comfortable in?

If the Angels decide to keep Barria as a long reliever, they'd likely choose one of Chase Silseth, Griffin Canning, or Tucker Davidson for that final spot. Silseth didn't pitch well in the bigs and is inexperienced. Canning didn't pitch at all last season and wasn't good when last seen. Davidson hasn't done anything at the big league level. Could Michael Lorenzen have been a good piece?

Michael Lorenzen could've added value if the Angels brought him back

Michael Lorenzen signed a one-year $8.5 million dollar deal with the Tigers this offseason to join their rotation. This move made sense for Detroit and for Lorenzen, who now gets a sure rotation spot. At $8.5 million I have no issue with the Angels passing, but I think had they brought Lorenzen back, he could've added value in this sixth starter/reliever spot.

The Angels used Lorenzen exclusively as a starter last season but 269 of his 313 MLB appearances (85.9%) have been in relief. Lorenzen made just five starts from 2016-2021 for the Reds including none in 2021. He's shown to be a capable reliever, judging from his 3.74 ERA in that role.

As a starter, Lorenzen was fine last season. He had a 4.24 ERA in 18 starts and 97.2 innings pitched. He missed substantial time due to injury but pitched well particularly in September when he had a 2.36 ERA in five starts. He allowed three runs or fewer in all five of those starts.

Lorenzen getting into his second full year of starting could look better and more comfortable than he did in his first year. I think the Angels would gladly take 18 starts at an ERA a bit over 4.00 with some added value in relief as well. Lorenzen got himself a good deal to be part of the Tigers rotation, but it could've worked out here also.

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