Michael Lorenzen struck Justin Upton in the head with a pitch in the LA Angels' last series against the Seattle Mariners. He has now hit three batters on the season. It's very unlike Lorenzen, who only hit two batters in all of the last two seasons combined.
Baseball has seen standout pitchers like Kevin Gausman and Chris Bassitt speak out about the baseballs that the league is using this year, and how it's affecting pitcher's control on the baseballs. It's sparked discussion on whether these baseballs are safe to be playing with.
Upton is okay, but not everyone who takes a pitch to the head is okay. Sure enough, Lorenzen's uncharacteristic hit-by-pitch total this year does seem to be related to the baseballs. Lorenzen is not okay with the balls that are used, and is not happy with the fact that it could have injured Upton and could injure future ballplayers:
LA Angels' SP Michael Lorenzen let MLB have it about the baseball situation.
Many around the league have speculated that the baseballs that the league is using right now are a prime factor in why offense is down around the league.
LA Angels' Starter Michael Lorenzen didn't go there, but did point to the fact that balls have been slipping out of pitchers' hands this year--and now it affected a batter who Lorenzen was facing. He mentioned that changing the baseballs during the game won't help because this is how all the baseballs are made.
Considering this has been a topic of discussion all year and not just from Lorenzen, this is clearly a serious issue and not some fluke idea that Lorenzen is proposing. Last year, the league banned 'Spider Tack,' which was a substance used frequently around the whole game which helped pitchers grip the baseball.
The league is also doing 'substance checks' to prevent pitchers from using anything but rosin to help them grip the ball. If the baseballs are going to be slick like this, however, MLB needs to let pitchers use something to deal with it. Something needs to change; and if MLB would simply use normal baseballs, then this would never have happened at all.