Michael Lorenzen Paying High Price For Pitching Success: Texas Rangers Starter Built MLB Mound In Backyard

Michael Lorenzen has been a stabilizing force for the Texas Rangers rotation as it weathers injuries.
May 25, 2024; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA;  Texas Rangers pitcher Michael Lorenzen (23) delivers a pitch against the Minnesota Twins during the first inning at Target Field.
May 25, 2024; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Texas Rangers pitcher Michael Lorenzen (23) delivers a pitch against the Minnesota Twins during the first inning at Target Field. / Nick Wosika-USA TODAY Sports
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With the Texas Rangers in Los Angeles to face the Dodgers for a three-game series, it gives Michael Lorenzen a chance to be close to home.

He was born in Anaheim and, at one time, played for the Los Angeles Angels. He still lives in California in the offseason.

Lorenzen, 3-3 with a 3.05 ERA, makes his 11th start in the series finale on Thursday. He’s been effective despite signing with Texas on March 20, missing most of spring training, and part of April because of a neck injury.

But he hasn’t missed a turn since he was activated, and that has been a boost for the rotation, given the Rangers injuries.

Texas hasn’t had Max Scherzer, Jacob deGrom, and Tyler Mahle in its rotation all season. Dane Dunning, Nathan Eovaldi and Jon Gray have each spent time on the 15-day injured list during the first two months.

Lorenzen, 32, may end up being the Rangers’ best offseason investment. He signed for $4.5 million with $2.5 million in incentives.

Turns out he’ll need the money. For Lorenzen, staying prepared is a year-around endeavor.

Recently, The Athletic detailed just how much Lorenzen has put into preparation in the offseason, as the one-time reliever has been a starter since he joined the Angels in 2022.

During the 2020 pandemic, Lorenzen bought a portable pitching mound and installed it in an alley in Corona Del Mar, Calif., so he could throw bullpens to stay sharp.

That was ingenuity out of necessity. He needed a place to throw. Now, he’s building what could best be described as a dream backyard for a baseball player.

The work started when he was with the Angels. He installed pitching mounds in his backyard that were the equivalent of Major League workmanship. That’s because he got the grounds crew for the Angels to install them for him.

Now, he’s working with Driveline Baseball to have a motion-capture lab installed in his yard. This would give Lorenzen biomechanical feedback when he throws and can’t work with a coach. Plus, he’s building a gym.

By the time it’s done, he will have invested more than $1 million in the project. He would say he’s investing in his career, which started in 2015 with the Cincinnati Reds.

“I’ve always said, this is my career, I own my career. I won’t let anyone else tell me what I can and can’t do in this game,” Lorenzen said. “I invest in my career.”

So far the investment is paying off for Lorenzen and the Rangers.


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Matthew Postins

MATTHEW POSTINS

Matthew Postins is an award-winning sports journalist who covers the Texas Rangers for Fan Nation/SI and also writes about the Houston Astros, Chicago Cubs and Philadelphia Phillies. He also covers the Big 12 for HeartlandCollegeSports.com.