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Lorenzen could play field in certain situations

MLB.com @m_sheldon

ATLANTA -- Even on days when he's not available to pitch out of the bullpen for the Reds, Michael Lorenzen is a useable player. He has already shown he can pinch-hit. Lorenzen has two home runs in that role, including one on Sunday vs. the Cubs.

Interim manager Jim Riggleman has not ruled out taking advantage of Lorenzen's athleticism in the field. The right-hander used to be a center fielder and a pitcher for Cal State-Fullerton.

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ATLANTA -- Even on days when he's not available to pitch out of the bullpen for the Reds, Michael Lorenzen is a useable player. He has already shown he can pinch-hit. Lorenzen has two home runs in that role, including one on Sunday vs. the Cubs.

Interim manager Jim Riggleman has not ruled out taking advantage of Lorenzen's athleticism in the field. The right-hander used to be a center fielder and a pitcher for Cal State-Fullerton.

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Video: CHC@CIN: Pitcher Lorenzen drills 3rd career home run

"[Lorenzen] would be one of those guys, down the road, you could think about doing some things that Joe Maddon does and you see Tampa Bay doing right now where your pitcher throws, then goes out and plays a position and comes back and throws," Riggleman said before Wednesday's finale vs. the Braves. "I think Mike could do all that. We're not looking to do that [yet], but he's a very well-rounded athlete that you'd be comfortable putting him out there."

On Tuesday vs. the Nationals, Rays manager Kevin Cash wanted lefty reliever Jose Alvarado to pitch to lefty sluggers Bryce Harper and Juan Soto. But right-handed hitter Anthony Rendon batted between them. Rather than use two lefty pitchers and making three pitching changes, Cash had Alvarado face Harper and then had him play first base while right-hander Chaz Roe faced Rendon. Alvarado returned to the mound to pitch to Soto.

On a couple of occasions in 2016 with the Cubs, Maddon had lefty reliever Travis Wood play left field for similar reasons. In one game vs. Milwaukee, Wood made a fantastic catch near the wall.

"I like seeing it because it shows us these guys can do more," Riggleman said. "Sometimes, we put limitations on them and cover ourselves by not overusing somebody or putting them in a position. I know it's the Major Leagues, but it's still a baseball game."

Lorenzen is ready for the opportunity.

"If [Riggleman] wanted to it, I'd do it for sure," Lorenzen said. "I'm up for whatever we need to do to win. So if Jim think that's going to help us, I'm definitely up for it."

On a few occasions in 1986, '87 and '89 with the Cardinals, Riggleman saw manager Whitey Herzog use his right-handed closer -- Todd Worrell -- in right field.

"And Todd just had horrendous numbers against Howard Johnson [of the Mets]," Riggleman said. "Todd would come and close the game and if Howard Johnson was coming up that inning, he would bring in Ken Dayley to turn Howard Johnson around to hit right-handed. Once he pitched Ken Dayley, Todd would come back in from right field."

Riggleman noted that using Lorenzen in the field would be an emergency-type of move. For his part, Lorenzen doesn't take shagging fly balls during batting practice for granted.

"It's something I've done my whole life," Lorenzen said. "I go out there and shag, and I take it seriously. But it's not with intent that I'm going to do this. I just love it."

Lorenzen pitched both Monday and Tuesday vs. the Braves, and he was not viewed as available to pitch during Wednesday afternoon's 6-5 win over Atlanta at SunTrust Park. Lorenzen pinch-hit for Jared Hughes and walked to lead off the ninth inning.

Garrett not available

After he was struck on the left leg by a hard comebacker by Ender Inciarte in the eighth inning on Tuesday, Reds reliever Amir Garrett was not available on Wednesday. Garrett, who was diagnosed with a lower leg contusion, was still wearing a wrap Wednesday morning.

Video: CIN@ATL: Garrett exits after being hit in the leg

Riggleman and Garrett were hopeful he could pitch within a couple of days. His absence left Kyle Crockett as the lone available lefty reliever in Cincinnati's bullpen.

Senzel surgery on Thursday

Reds top prospect Nick Senzel is set to have his season-ending right index finger surgery on Thursday. Senzel, ranked No. 1 in the organization and No. 6 overall by MLBPipeline, was originally scheduled to have his operation on Tuesday.

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.

Cincinnati Reds, Michael Lorenzen