GOODYEAR, AZ. — When Michael Lorenzen arrived at the Cincinnati Reds clubhouse Tuesday morning the lights weren’t on and not a creature was stirring because nobody was there.
It was 6 a.m. And it isn’t the first time he could have turned on the lights. He is nearly always the first morning arrival. Not only that, most of the time he can turn out the lights because he is the last to leave.
Lorenzen is a 23-year-old right handed pitcher who has caught everybody’s eyes this spring and manager Bryan Price calls him, "The full package."
He is a starting pitcher but if he makes the team this year it most likely will be for the bullpen, which isn’t a strange position for him. At Cal State-Fullerton he played center field for eight innings and then, if the situation called for it, he went to the mound in the ninth inning to close out the game.
At the current time, Lorezen is here to serve the Cincinnati Reds and to serve the Lord.
"My motivation isn’t to make a lot of money in this game," he said. "My motivation is to help people, to be a voice to people, create a positive chnge through the Lord the way he has changed my life. To give people hope."
Lorenzen reads the Bible every day and quotes scripture in this tweets.
"When you have the type of motivation I have it is not hard to arrive early and leave late," he said. "It doesn’t go away and it will never go away until I’m gone."
Lorenzen is a slender 6-foot-3 and 203 pounds, but throws in the high 90s with a satiny smooth no-effort delivery. He was only 4-6 in 24 starts at Class AA Pensacola last season but his earned run average of 3.13 tells a tale of success.
"Lorenzen is extremely intriguing to me," said Price. "It is a big arm with really good deception because he throws the ball so easy. It explodes out of his hand.
"He has progressed as far as anybody on our roster from where he started, a college closer to a Double-A starter who was much better than the league," said Price. "He is a sponge for information and has a great competitive mentality a great work ethic. He is the full package for me."
The drawback to keeping Lorenzen on the team for the bullpen is that it might derail his progress as a starter — and the team does project him as a rotation regular.
"If we ask ourselves at the end of spring training if this kid is ready, the answer might be, ‘yes,’" said Price. "Then we’d have to figure where he’d best be suited. I don’t want to say he is definitely going to the minor leagues because he is pitching his tail off."
What does Lorenzen think about his options and his situation?
"My goal is to help the Reds, however they want it," he said. "However they feel that they can use me. I came here to do everything I can under my control to show them I can compete. Everything else is out of my control. The Lord is in total control. That gives me peace and allows me to show up and work hard.
"I understand that if I have a bad outing it is not the end of the world and if I have good outing it doesn’t mean everything to me," he added.
"This (spring training) is school for me," he said. "I’m just soaking everything up to learn as much as possible so I can take it into the season."
Lorenzen is appreciative of where he is and how he got here and, hopefully, how to stay here.
"A lot of prayer, a lot of prayer," he said "Each and every day I try to get better and take advantage of the gift God has given me. And for what I ask, a bunch of responsibility comes with it."