NEW YORK – In a relatively quick recovery from a right hamstring strain, Reds reliever Michael Lorenzen was activated from the 10-day injured list ahead of Friday’s series opener vs. the Mets.
Lorenzen, who missed the first 90 games of the season because of a right shoulder strain, got injured again during his 2021 debut vs. the Brewers on July 17.
After he pitched a scoreless eighth inning vs. Milwaukee, Lorenzen was needed to remain in the game to play the outfield. In the bottom of the 10th, he hurt his hamstring while tagging up and scoring from third base on a sacrifice fly.
Lorenzen has long enjoyed flexing his hitting and running skills in the big leagues, but manager David Bell seemed less inclined to use him in those situations for a while.
“We’ll just have to be smart about it,” Bell said. “It’s pretty amazing he’s back this quick. It says so much about him. The priority, maybe more than ever, is to get Michael back into the mix, into the bullpen as a pitcher. I think I will leave it at that for now. That’s just the focus and the priority for now.”
To make room for Lorenzen on the roster, the Reds optioned reliever Tony Santillan, the club's No. 9 prospect, to Triple-A Louisville.
Santillan was the only Reds reliever with Minor League options, which was the reason he was sent out. The rookie had pitched very well of late, including coming in with the bases loaded and one out to get out of a jam on Monday vs. the Cubs.
The plan is have Santillan, a starting pitcher prospect, continue to work in a bullpen role for Louisville.
“His future, there’s definitely a chance he could go back as a starter. There’s no reason that wouldn’t be on the table or out of the question,” Bell said. “But for right now for our team, most importantly, he’ll be pitching out of the bullpen. While he was here, he grew a lot in that role. Every time he came into a game and on to the mound, he got better each time in that role. It was the move we needed to make to activate Michael. But we all expect Tony to be back here at some point and continue to help us win.”