AL Notes: Lorenzen, Taylor, Grandal

Angels righty Michael Lorenzen began a rehab assignment yesterday, throwing 47 pitches over three innings for the Triple-A Salt Lake Bees. He went on the injured list July 7, retroactive to July 4, due to a shoulder strain. He was eventually transferred to the 60-day IL, meaning he isn’t eligible to be activated until September 2.

The return of Lorenzen won’t be terribly significant for the Angels, since they are 13 1/2 games out of a playoff spot and won’t be in competition during the final weeks of the season. However, it will be an important stretch for Lorenzen personally as he will be heading back into free agency in a few months.

During his time with the Reds, he was frequently deployed as a reliever. But when he reached free agency, he went looking for an opportunity to return to starting, which he found with the Angels. Signed to a one-year, $6.75MM deal, Lorenzen’s return to the rotation went well for a few months. He had a 3.45 ERA through mid-June, having made ten starts. Unfortunately, he allowed 16 earned runs over his next three, ballooning his ERA 4.94. At this point, one could argue that Lorenzen proved himself a capable starter that was just waylaid by an injury, while a pessimist could say he proved he’s better suited to shorter stints out of the bullpen. Teams on the lookout for pitching this winter will keep an eye on how he fares in the coming weeks, with Lorenzen surely hoping to tip the scales with a strong finish to the campaign.

Some other notes from around the Junior Circuit…

  • Astros lefty Blake Taylor is being pulled off his rehab assignment, tweets Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle. General manager James Click says that Taylor is dealing with “posterior elbow discomfort.” Taylor’s been on the IL since June due to elbow discomfort. Click tried to downplay the update, but the fact that the rehab is being paused is noteworthy. With just over six weeks remaining in the season, there’s not much time left to restart a rehab and get back to the team. The club has been shorthanded in terms of left-handed relief all year, with Taylor’s 16 innings leading the team. Deadline acquisition Will Smith is currently the only southpaw in the bullpen. However, it seems the team can probably do just fine regardless, as lefties have hit just .217/.299/.299 against Houston’s bullpen overall this year.
  • White Sox catcher Yasmani Grandal left Saturday’s game with an obvious injury, having to be helped off the field. With only about six weeks left on the schedule, some folks were understandably worried that his season might have ended right then and there. Thankfully, it’s been nothing but good news since. Yesterday, the club announced that further testing revealed no serious damage and that Grandal could return to action in 10-14 days. Today, Grandal is walking around the clubhouse as if the injury never occurred, tweets Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun-Times. Manager Tony La Russa says that Grandal is getting treatment but also swinging in the cage already. The backstop is having a down year, particularly in the power department. He only has three homers on the season, after hitting more than 20 in each of the previous five full seasons. But he still walks in 12.4% of his plate appearances and could be a difference maker if he can quickly return to health and rediscover his power stroke.

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