O.C. native Michael Lorenzen will make debut for Angels against Marlins on Monday
Two nights after Noah Syndergaard made his Angels mound debut, Orange County native Michael Lorenzen will do the same on Monday night when the veteran right-hander, who signed a one-year, $6.75-million deal in November, starts against the Miami Marlins in Angel Stadium.
Lorenzen, who played at Fullerton High and Cal State Fullerton, grew up an Angels fan and played center field as a Little Leaguer because of Jim Edmonds, who staffed the position for the Angels from 1994-99.
“Obviously, because of that catch in Kansas City,” Lorenzen said, referring to the 1997 play in which Edmonds sprinted straight back to the warning track and made a full-extension, over-the-shoulder diving grab of a David Howard drive with two on and two outs. “I still think it’s the best catch ever.”
The 2002 World Series-winning team, filled with such gritty players as Darin Erstad, David Eckstein, Scott Spiezio and Troy Percival, also left an indelible mark on Lorenzen.
“They had a bunch of good baseball players, and it definitely influenced the way I see the game and how I think the game should be played,” Lorenzen said. “Erstad, Eckstein, Spiezio … all those guys were hard-nosed players who played the game the right way. They ran hard, played hard … it was just a fun team to watch.”
Noah Syndergaard gave up just two hits in 5 1/3 scoreless innings and Mike Trout hit a home run as the Angels beat the Houston Astros 2-0 on Saturday.
Lorenzen, who is transitioning from the bullpen to the rotation this season, played his first seven big league seasons in Cincinnati. The extra demands of family members and friends can be a distraction for some players who sign with hometown teams, but that shouldn’t a problem for Lorenzen.
“I’ve been doing this for eight seasons now, so nothing will get in the way of my process,” Lorenzen said. “I allocate people to deal with certain things like tickets. I don’t want to see any of that. For a younger me, it would probably be tough, but with where I’m at in my career, it should be fine.”
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