At the 2023 MLB trade deadline, the Philadelphia Phillies acquired star pitcher Michael Lorenzen from the Detroit Tigers in exchange for up-and-coming prospect Hao-Yu Lee. While the trade looked like a steal from the start, it has now started to sour and turn into a bust.
For the first time in his career, Lorenzen was named an All-Star during his campaign with the Detroit Tigers. He pitched in 18 games with them and held an ERA of 3.58 with a 5-7 record. The Phillies needed a pitcher to reinforce their starting rotation to make a deep postseason run.
After the trade occurred, in his first game with the Phillies, he threw 101 pitches in eight innings, only giving up two earned runs on six hits and a walk. In his second start, he shocked everyone when he threw a no-hitter against the Washington Nationals in a 7-0 victory on Aug. 9. During this game, he threw 124 pitches, allowing only four walks and recording five strikeouts.
Michael Lorenzen surprises everyone, then does it again
However, after throwing the no-hitter, in his next start, he only went three and one-thirds innings, giving up seven runs, six of which were earned runs, before getting taken out with 74 pitches. In his next four starts, he pitched 22.2 innings with a record of 2-1 but struggled with an ERA of 6.75, although not as much as his 7.45 FIP suggests.
On Tuesday, Sept. 19, the Phillies decided to put Lorenzen in the game after Cristopher Sanchez threw four innings and gave up three earned runs. Lorenzen came in, got one out, and gave up three hits and three walks, resulting in four earned runs.
As the 2023 MLB postseason is set to begin in the next few weeks, concerns have arisen about one of their biggest acquisitions at the deadline as his performance has collapsed. It now appears unlikely that he will even be able to pitch out of the bullpen due to recent struggles. Since throwing the no-hitter, Lorenzen has fallen off significantly, and he might not make the Phillies' playoff roster.