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Cincinnati Reds' Michael Lorenzen is Baseball's Swiss-Army Knife

Tom Buehring - 700 Club Producer

In a game marked with the history and tradition of players and positions, the Cincinnati Reds have a swiss-army knife with one player in multiple roles. Michael Lorenzen is baseball’s rare major-league, two-way talent! The middle reliever doubles as a closer, but is even more uniquely used as a late-inning centerfielder and slugging pinch-hitter – bringing power from both his bat and arm!

Question: “Michael, how would the opponent’s scouting report describe your pitching?”

Michael Lorenzen: “It would probably be – all his pitchers are pretty hard – mid to upper 90’s and he’s gonna try and challenge you with everything. So, just be ready to hit a strike!”

Question: “So as a two-way player, how does the pitching help you as a hitter?”

Michael Lorenzen: “Yeah, that’s a good question! In college it was funny because the pitching came easy but the hitting --- I was in the cage for hours on end! It was always so complicated! But now its flipped because now pitching is the thing I do and hitting is just kind of a bonus to where hitting has become so simple and pitching has become complicated! So, I’ve become a better hitter because of it. Now I need to simplify my pitching. That’s when I’m better, when I make it simple.”

Question: “You would think that versatility would help any team. But your also breaking baseball tradition (Michael laughs) that’s rare to see. Have you found that there’s a pushback from formality of the game?”

Michael Lorenzen: “Yeah, when I was first drafted I remember Eric Davis, a Cincinnati Reds great and I told him, ‘I want to be a two-way player’. And he said, ‘if you think you can do it don’t give up on it but I don’t think it’s possible!’ And so I’ve always had that push back for sure, from everyone and I just didn’t understand how that’s inherent almost in every athlete to think that we can overcome anything! It just never sat well with me – you know – it’s not possible!”

Question: “You’re constantly on standby for nine innings   in a number of roles. How do you stay engaged?”

Michael Lorenzen: “You know, me being a position player my whole life so I’m used to playing nine innings every day. Just being a reliever and getting three to six outs a game – is a lot more different for me than being ready to play nine innings so its actually been beneficial for my mind to stay in tune to the game.”

Question: “Do you ‘raz your teammates at all of you’re the guy putting in O-T and they’re not?”

Michael Lorenzen: “No. No. But I always let them know that because I go into centerfield late in the game it’s gonna be their fly balls that I’m catching! So! ”

Question: “What kind of expectation from Cincinnati because of the history and success of the Cincinnati Reds?

Michael Lorenzen: “You know we hear stories all the time about the Big Red Machine – you know –best team really assembled in baseball. So we do have some high standards here. And I love this city! Everyone is a Cincinnati Reds fan!”

Question: “You had to adapt and you had to overcome and as a two-way player you’re doing that now. But that also reflects childhood for you growing up.”

Michael Lorenzen: “Ups and downs. You know, I grew up in a broken family! But just, didn’t have any guidance.  We didn’t, I didn’t grew up with God in my life. Started to change as I was in high school at 16 years old and you know high on a pier and some guy was sharing about Jesus Christ and it was the first time where I was convicted and confronted with my sin. It was just God had opened my heart and opened my mind to understand His words.”

Question: “Michael, does it give you some wonder in the fact he’s take a random person to pull that out of your life, does that make it feel like He’s intentionally pursuing you?”

Michael Lorenzen: “Yeah, absolutely! It’s something that is extremely humbling and its something that it makes you want to go out and tell everyone else about. And that’s where this game comes in, I get to used this as a platform to share that message!”

Question: “How do you seize the moment now and maximize it?”

Michael Lorenzen: “Really just knowing that only now matters! Growing whether its as a baseball player, as a believer in Christ, as a husband – how can I get better? I think it gives us that fuel to go through each and every day of - we have a goal. So I think that’s how I’m able to – live in the now!”

Question: “How has Jesus Christ become proven to help you bridge through and navigate circumstances that are overwhelming?”

Michael Lorenzen: “Yea, that’s a good question and I always go back to the verse, Romans 8:28, all things work together for the good of those who love God and called according to His purpose. All things - means all things! Not just the good things! And when you have faith to rejoice in trials because it produces patience and perseverance. There’s really nothing that can hinder what you’re doing! There really isn’t! And so you’re able to move forward with a smile and with joy!”

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