CINCINNATI — It hasn’t been officially announced, but Cincinnati Reds manager Bryan Price will be one of the coaches for the National League in the All-Star game.
It certainly makes sense, with the game being played in July in Great American Ball Park. And it should be a fun event for Price, who hasn’t had much fun managing the Reds so far.
And it was a considerate gesture by San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy, who will manage the Nationals because he won the World Series and gets to pick the coaches.
WHEN MICHAEL LORENZEN was playing outfield/closer for Cal-Fullerton in college, there were scouts and teams that projected him as a No. 1 draft pick — as an outfielder.
He could hit, he could run, he could chase down fly balls. As an afterthought, he was brought in from center field in the ninth inning to save games as a closer.
“I knew there was a possibility that I’d be drafted as an outfielder,” said Lorenzen. “And I didn’t want to go as a pitcher. I told everyone in draft meetings, ‘I’m not a pitcher, I’m a center fielder.’”
THE CINCINNATI REDS didn’t believe that. They wanted him as a pitcher and told him their plans for him and drafted him as a pitcher in the supplemental lottery round, the 38th player taken overall in the 2013 draft, before another team could draft him as an outfielder.
“I liked the plan the Reds had for me,” he said. “We talked before they drafted me to make sure I was on board. And I was. It was pretty awesome.”
So Lorenzen is with the Reds, a starting pitcher who is temporarily in the bullpen because of days off in the upcoming schedule. Soon he will be back in the rotation.
“The Reds wanted to move me up fast as a pitcher and it sure has worked out,” he said.
IN THE MEANTIME, it has been an eventful few days. Lorenzen was used as a pinch-runner against the Atlanta Braves and scored a walk-off winning run. Against the Giants Friday, he warmed up in the bullpen as a relief pitcher, but ran to the dugout and pinch-hit BEFORE he went to the mound.
“I was warming up and they said, ‘Oh, you are batting second this inning before you pitch,’” said Lorenzen. “I said, ‘OK,’ and ran in and the umpire said, ‘Hey, we haven’t called you in,’ and I told him, ‘I’m going in to hit.’”
Lorenzen said after warming up in the bullpe and running to the dugout to grab a bat, “I was already exhausted. I hit a little squibber and tried to run it out. I said, ‘Hey, I need a break. Somebody give me some Gatorade so I can go out there and pitch.’”
Of his pinch-running and hitting before he pitches, Lorenzen smiled and said, “I hope it stays this way my whoel career. It’s fun, so much fun.”
THERE IS A reason left hander Manny Parra hasn’t appeared out of the bullpen since April 22. He had a neck issue that put him on the disabled list, but that’s not THE issue this time.
“He has had a little elbow tenderness that has been completely checked out,” said manager Bryan Price. “I don’t want to say it is a non-issue because he did have the tenderness, but it has been checked out. It is part of the aches and pains of throwing the baseball. He may require a rehab stint for a couple of outings. We’d like to get him one or two more bullpen situations before we get him on the mound (in rehab).”
AFTER JUST MISSING two home runs that outfielders caught against the wall, one of which would have been a grand slam, Jay Bruce had two hits Saturday, including his sixth home run.
“You know how Bruce can catch fire and really be a huge offensive piece for an extended period,” said Price. “That’s what I’m hoping that yesterday might have kick started.”
SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS outfielder Hunter Pence returned to the lineup for the first time this year Saturday after suffering a broken forearm in spring traiing.
He had two hits and three runs scored in his 2015 debut before manager Bruce Bochy took him out when the Giants led, 11-0.
“When I took him out yesterday he was shocked,” said Bochy. “He wants to play all the time. He played only a handful of spring training games and two rehab games, so even with him I was a bit surprised at his command of the bat.”
BOOK SIGNINGS: For those looking for Father’s Day presents (early), how about my book, ‘The Real McCoy?’ On Monday morning at 9 a.m. I will be in the lobby of the Dayton International Airport in Vandalia selling and signing books. And on Thursday at 6:30 I will be at the Vandalia Public Library selling and signing books, 500 South Dixie, in Vandalia.
QUOTE OF THE DAY: When the media was led into manager Bryan Price’s office before Sunday’s game, there was stifling silence for more than a minute, no questions asked, when Price broke the silence and said, “What does one ask after two losses like that (10-2 and 11-2 defeats to the Giants)?”