CINCINNATI -- Pitching prospect Michael Lorenzen had an express trip through the Reds' Minor League system, taking less than two years to go from Draft pick to Major Leaguer. That journey reached its desired point Tuesday when the Reds announced Lorenzen was called up from Triple-A Louisville to make his big league debut vs. the Brewers today.
Lorenzen will replace Homer Bailey in the rotation. Bailey was placed on the 15-day disabled list on Monday with a right elbow sprain.
"It's been an absolute dream come true," Lorenzen said at Great American Ball Park. "The circumstances aren't the best, but I'm going to come in here and do the best I can to do what every starting pitcher tries to do, that's win ballgames. I'm just going to go out there [Wednesday] and enjoy myself and try to put a 'W' on the scoreboard."
Mike Leake, who was originally slated to start today, will move back to pitch Thursday at Atlanta.The Reds still need to make a corresponding roster move to add Lorenzen to both the 25-man and 40-man roster.
"We've had our sights set on Michael for some time," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "He came in and threw the ball really well in spring, maybe not statistically, but the ball came out of his hand really well. We think he's mature and ready to handle this type of challenge."
Lorenzen, 23, was the 38th overall pick in the 2013 First-Year Player Draft out of Cal State-Fullerton, and he was ranked as Cincinnati's No. 4 prospect, according to MLB.com. He made a strong bid for a 25-man roster spot as a non-roster invite at Spring Training before being sent down late in camp.
In three starts for Louisville, Lorenzen was 2-1 with a 2.84 ERA, with 20 hits, four walks and 12 strikeouts over 19 innings.
"I learned from each and every one of them, especially my last one," said Lorenzen, who allowed five earned runs and 11 hits in six innings for a loss on Friday vs. Columbus. "Every start I'm trying to learn as much as possible and prepare myself for a day like [today]."
Lorenzen was supposed to start again for the Bats today on normal rest. Raisel Iglesias just pitched on Sunday and wouldn't be able to start again until Friday.
"It wasn't a difficult call. We would be just as happy getting Iglesias," Price said. "[Jon] Moscot is throwing the ball well, as well. But right now is Michael's opportunity."
A center fielder and college closer, Lorenzen didn't learn the craft of starting pitching until he was selected by Cincinnati. Last season at Double-A Pensacola was his first full year in a rotation. In two Minor League seasons, Lorenzen has pitched 160 2/3 innings, so maximum patience wasn't required from Lorenzen even though he couldn't wait for the call.
"When you're a competitor, you want to compete at the highest level as fast as possible," he said. "I did everything I could to show them I was ready as soon as possible. I'm happy they're giving me the opportunity."
Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.