Fittingly, the Phillies made their first move of the 2023 MLB Trade Deadline with just hours to go until the clock struck 6 o’clock.
For weeks, talks of acquiring a right-handed bat, a quality relief pitcher, or a number three/four starting pitcher dominated the Phillies hot stove.
And just before 4 o’clock, it was announced by reporter Jon Morosi that the Phils were close to an agreement with the Tigers that would send right-handed pitcher Michael Lorenzen to Philadelphia.
Tigers are close to trading Michael Lorenzen to the Phillies.
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) August 1, 2023
It was a move that cost the Phillies their #5 prospect, but it was also a move that made sense.
Lorenzen is currently in his ninth year in the MLB. He started pitching for the Reds back in 2015 and spent 7 seasons in Cincinnati with an ERA just a tad over 4.
After a solid stint with the Reds, Lorenzen landed with the Angels in his hometown of Anaheim and put up another sound season, earning him a 1 year, $8.5 million contract to join the Tigers before the 2023 season began.
Through 18 starts, Lorenzen owns a very good 3.58 ERA and 1.10 WHIP, which helped earn him a selection to July’s annual All-Star Game to represent the city of Detroit.
For 9 seasons, Lorenzen has proved to be a consistent, back-end starting pitcher, which could really help the Phillies in the second half of the season.
Can you remember a back-end of the rotation starting pitcher for the Phillies who shined in a bullpen role that immensely helped the Phillies get to and succeed in the 2022 playoffs? Yeah, I do. His name is Zach Eflin.
Many people are projecting Lorenzen to fit that Eflin postseason mold that helped the team succeed. And with six current starting pitchers on the team, it makes sense.
The present, however, is what’s on everyone’s minds.
In their rotation, the Phillies have Zach Wheeler, Taijuan Walker, Aaron Nola, Ranger Suarez, and Cristopher Sanchez. While it’s always nice to trade for good starting pitching at the deadline, what will the Phillies do with an added arm?
The unexpected success of Sanchez deems him worthy of a rotation spot. You can’t send Sanchez back to the bullpen. And Lorenzen is a clear starting pitcher too.
So, it’s looking like the Phils will trot out a weekly six-man rotation as the regular season races to an end. It will be their first true six-man starting rotation in a few seasons.
It will be exciting to see how each pitcher builds off the next.
The Phillies starting rotation now is one to keep the league on notice. Each pitcher is above average and hungry for success.
Lorenzen is set to make his first start on the mound for the Phillies this Thursday against the Marlins, per Todd Zolecki.
It will be a big spot for Lorenzen in his first time ever donning the red and white pinstripes.
Photo: Paul Sancya/AP Photo