The Cincinnati Reds didn’t hit a single pinch hit home run during the 2016 season. Three games into the 2017 season, they already have their first of the season. This one came off the bat of reliever Michael Lorenzen.
Lorenzen originally had the day off, but was sent up to pitch hit for righty Cody Reed in the sixth inning. With the scored tied 4-4 and two outs in the sixth, Lorenzen stepped to the plate. On a 3-1 fastball from Adam Morgan, Lorenzen blasted a go-ahead solo shot to right center field. Video of the long ball can be seen at this link: http://m.mlb.com/video/v1258751883/phicin-pitcher-lorenzen-launches-a-pinchhit-homer/?affiliateId=clubMEGAMENU
According to Statcast, Lorenzen’s shot was the sixth hardest hit homer by a pitcher in the statcast era. At 420 feet, it was the fifth farthest homer by a pitcher since 2015.
The Reds are currently carrying nine relievers, which means they have a four man bench. Lorenzen, a former college center fielder, was told he could be used as a pinch hitter on days he can’t pitch.
That was the second long ball of Lorenzen’s career, with the first being the emotional shot last season after the devastating passing of his late great father. He became the first pitcher to hit a pinch-hit homer in the MLB since Micah Owings did so in 2009, also for the Reds.