CINCINNATI -- Reds reliever Michael Lorenzen owns an outfielder's glove and takes fly balls during batting practice. He sometimes hits with the position players, too. Lorenzen has long been itching to become a two-way player that both pitches and plays the field in a game.Over the next few days, it
CINCINNATI -- Reds reliever Michael Lorenzen owns an outfielder's glove and takes fly balls during batting practice. He sometimes hits with the position players, too. Lorenzen has long been itching to become a two-way player that both pitches and plays the field in a game.
Over the next few days, it might become a reality. Right fielder Scott Schebler and center fielder Billy Hamilton are both day to day with left shoulder strains with their availability unclear.
"I'm ready. It's a game of baseball so I'm ready to play some baseball," Lorenzen said.
Manager Bryan Price's already short bench was down to two players on Sunday vs. the Braves with catcher Devin Mesoraco and outfielder/infielder Patrick Kivlehan.
"You forgot Lorenzen. And I've got Bronson [Arroyo]," Price added on Sunday morning.
Lorenzen was a center fielder and closer in college for Cal-State Fullerton but has never played in the field as a professional. Price has yet to speak with him about preparing to play in the outfield, but Lorenzen didn't need a conversation and would expect anything for the next few games.
"You just have to look at the roster right now," Lorenzen said. "It's a common sense type of thing. I was ready [Saturday] for something possibly creative to happen."
Schebler and Hamilton both left with their injuries in the sixth inning of Saturday's 6-5 loss in 12 innings. Lorenzen pitched two innings of relief in the game and batted for himself in the eighth inning and struck out.
On April 6, Lorenzen was used as a pinch-hitter vs. the Phillies and slugged a solo homer that was the game-winner in a 7-4 victory. It was the second time in the Majors since 1974 that a pitcher had a pinch-hit homer that broke a tie game. On Aug. 19, 2016, vs. the Dodgers Lorenzen batted for himself and also hit a home run on the night he returned from the bereavement list following the death of his father.
Price had no qualms about using Lorenzen as a position player over the next few days.
"I know it would probably scare our front office and ownership to death possibly -- but he's an athlete and he works on it," Price said. "I think we're guilty of putting most of these guys in a bubble, trying to protect them from injury in a game where you can't protect them from injury. We're trying to win games here. If the goal was simply to finish the season healthy, we'd be failing at that miserably. And we're trying to do everything we can to keep them healthy. So I think we've just got to let him go out there and let him play."
• To make room on the 25-man roster for the activation of starting pitcher Amir Garrett, right-hander Jackson Stephens was optioned to Triple-A Louisville. Stephens was called up on Tuesday for bullpen depth but never made his big league debut.
• Reds pitcher Homer Bailey (right elbow) pitched three innings in a game at extended spring training in Arizona on Saturday. The next step is for Bailey to begin a Minor League rehab assignment, which could happen as soon as Friday.
Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast.