On opening day this week, Phillies starting pitcher--and winner Jeremy Hellickson hit a sixth inning triple that proved to drive in the winning run in a 4-3 Philadelphia win over the Reds. After the game, though Hellickson said legging out that triple was more taxing than he had anticipated.
"I was catching my breath for about 30 minutes after I got back (to the dugout)," Hellickson told reporters after the game. "Last time I'll be doing that."
Hellickson's comment became a discussion point Tuesday morning on "Spielman and Hooley" with Chris Spielman and Bruce Hooley on sister station 105.7, the Zone. Spielman--the former football star, was dumbfounded by Hellickson's comment--amazed that running from home plate to third base was such a chore for a professional athlete. For a guy like Chris--Hellickson's comment is a turn off--and a reason why Spielman says--he's never embraced baseball.
Fast forward to Thursday afternoon--when maybe the Cincinnati Reds have a pitcher that Chris can get behind. Michael Lorenzen had pitched in relief the past two games but it was his bat that was the difference in a 7-4 Cincinnati win. With the game tied 4-4 in the sixth, Lorenzen was called on by manager Bryan Price to pinch hit. It's not the first time Lorenzen has been called upon for a pinch hitting role. In his limited time in the majors, he has a .244 average--and had homered once before. He did it again--launching a shot to dead center to give the Reds a 5-4 lead. (check out the homer below)
After the game, Lorenzen talked with reporters and made it clear--while he enjoys pitching, he believes he's a good enough athlete to help out with more than just his arm.
"People don't take me seriously when I say I believe I can play both ways," Lorenzen said. "It's something I believe I can do and something that, being an all-around baseball player, I take pride in...not just being a pitcher...I've grown up being a fan of the whole game--making the diving play, coming in and hitting, stealing bases and the game of baseball is fun to me, I love it and I'm going to enjoy it."
Lorenzen said he has talked with Price about playing in the field, on days he does not pitch. He feels he swings the bat and plays the field well enough, that he can contribute.
"Use me, use me...if you need me in the field, use me," Lorenzen said. "To me, that's kind of the way everyone should be. It might be impossible to others....I think it's a goal to shoot for. Everyone told me it's not possible so it's a nice goal to have and something I would love to accomplish."
That's not exactly the same attitude baseball fans heard from Hellickson on opening day. Maybe Michael Lorenzen is the kind of guy who can be the future in baseball. We'll see. To see his interview with Fox Sports Ohio after his Thursday afternoon heroics, check it out below.