Pair of former Phillies pitchers put on a bullpen showcase for MLB teams

Former Phillies pitchers Michael Lorenzen and Noah Syndergaard showcased their stuff for MLB teams this week in California.
Pittsburgh Pirates v Philadelphia Phillies
Pittsburgh Pirates v Philadelphia Phillies / Tim Nwachukwu/GettyImages

Two players who have ties to the Philadelphia Phillies threw bullpen sessions for about half of the teams in Major League Baseball this week. Michael Lorenzen and Noah Syndergaard are still both unsigned at this point in what has been a relatively slow offseason around baseball.

Per FanSided's Robert Murray, 16 MLB clubs sent representatives to watch the bullpen sessions in California. Syndergaard's fastball reportedly was consistently sitting in the mid-90s. That's a tick up from last season but is about where the pitch has been since returning from Tommy John surgery in 2021.

While 2018 was really Syndergaard's last dominant season, he had been hovering around 98 mph with his fastball until 2019. The surgery clearly affected his velocity, and he hasn't been a highly effective pitcher since.

The former first-round pick was traded to the Phillies from the Los Angeles Angels at the deadline in 2022. He appeared in 10 regular season games and pitched some meaningful innings for the club that season. The most important was his start in Game 4 of the NLDS in 2022, when he started the series-clinching game and held the Atlanta Braves to one run in three innings.

Due to the lack of starting pitching around MLB, it's likely that a team will take a flyer on the right-hander as depth for their rotation. However, in all likelihood, Syndergaard's best days are behind him. He finished last season, split between the Cleveland Guardians and Los Angeles Dodgers, with a 6.50 ERA over 88 2/3 innings.

Lorenzen is a slightly different story. He has not had elbow issues in the past, but rather some shoulder strain history. The right-hander from Anaheim, California, has pitched for four major league clubs since 2015. He has been used as both a starter and reliever, and has played some outfield as well.

His skill set was never quite the same as Syndergaard's, but he has proven to be effective in his career. He signed with the Detroit Tigers prior to the 2023 season so that he could be part of their starting rotation. He was another Phillies' trade deadline acquisition.

Lorenzen's first two outings as a Phillies starter were excellent. In his first start, the right-hander pitched eight innings against the Miami Marlins. His second start with the Phillies was one that will go down in franchise history as he no-hit the Washington Nationals.

After that, Lorenzen became inconsistent. He finished the year 9-9 with a 4.18 ERA in 153 innings. His track record and versatility as both a starter and reliever should get him a contract prior to spring training.

The Phillies would be wise to pass on Syndergaard, given some of their rotational depth already in the organization. If Lorenzen can be signed at a reasonable price, it may be worth taking a chance and bringing him back in some capacity because of the flexibility he allows.

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