Los Angeles Angels pitcher Michael Lorenzen blames Major League Baseball for the pitch that hit Seattle Mariners outfielder Justin Upton in the head. Lorenzen ripped MLB’s ball following the hit by pitch, saying Upton’s injury is “on Major League Baseball.”
Lorenzen expressed frustration over the league changing balls from season to season. There’s evidence MLB utilized two separate balls last season, one that encouraged offense and one that was deadened.
Following Friday’s hit by pitch, Lorenzen made it clear he believed the league still hasn’t gotten things right in 2022. He blamed MLB for the state of the baseballs, saying they are too slippery.
Lorenzen explained the baseballs being used are “straight out of the package.” The league allows baseballs to be rubbed with a mud mixture before use, but if balls are rubbed too early, the mud dries and reportedly leaves a slick surface on the ball. Pitchers are banned from rubbing any other substance on the ball due to the league’s foreign substance crackdown.
Lorenzen put Friday’s hit by pitch on the league, saying, “Their baseballs are slick. They did get someone hurt. So that’s on Major League Baseball for sure. I don’t know what’s going on. These baseballs are straight out of the package.”
Justin Upton hit in head by pitch
Upton, who was making his Mariners debut, left Friday’s game in the fifth inning after being hit in the head by a 91 mph fastball. Upton laid on the ground while M’s manager Scott Servais and a team trainer checked on Upton. He eventually walked off the field.
Following the game, Servais said Upton was doing well, and could be in the lineup Saturday.
Upton was released by the Angels in early April to give Taylor Ward a starting gig. Upton signed with the Mariners in late May, and spent time in the minors preparing for his return to the majors. He was making his Mariners debut Friday when he was hit in the head by Lorenzen’s pitch.