The guy who’s safe is out. The guy who’s out is safe.

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In the first inning of Friday’s Brewers-Nationals game, Anthony Rendon hit a grounder to short with Denard Span running from first on the pitch. Span beat the relay to second and was called safe, but Rendon was easily retired at first on the play.

At least, that’s how it seemed to go down.

After originally calling Span out, second base umpire Angel Campos changed his mind and ruled Span out, seemingly declaring that his popup slide interfered with Scooter Gennett’s relay to first base. And he probably had a case… Span had no need to stand up as quickly as he did, and if he had actually forced Gennett to alter his throw in any way, interference would have made a ton of sense.

Span, though, didn’t get in the path of the ball. And Gennett had no problem completing the relay, as evidenced by the fact that Rendon was easily retired at first. So, with Span also out, the ruling on the field was that of a double play.

Of course, Matt Williams was none too happy with this. But there was nothing reviewable he could challenge. Fortunately, the umps got together to discuss things, and what ended up happening was that Span was still ruled out — unintentional interference being the official call — and Rendon was credited with first base, since Span’s interference created a deadball situation.

So, when all was said and done, the guy who was safe was out and the guy who was out was safe.

Reds having Michael Lorenzen prepare as a two-way player

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For decades, a legitimate “two-way player” — a player who functions as both a pitcher and as a position player — was nothing but a fantasy. The skill sets required for both are too distinct and require too much prep work, it was thought. The Angels’ Shohei Ohtani shattered that illusion in 2018, posting a .925 OPS in 367 plate appearances as a hitter while posting a 3.31 ERA in 51 2/3 innings as a pitcher.

Since then, several more players have been considered in two-way roles. The Rangers signed Matt Davidson earlier this month and could potentially use him as a corner infielder as well as a reliever. Also earlier this month, James Loney signed with the independent Atlantic League’s Sugar Land Skeeters, who plan to use him as both a first baseman and as a pitcher.

You can add Michael Lorenzen of the Reds to that list. MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon reports that the Reds will have Lorenzen prepare this spring as a two-way player. He could both start and relieve while occasionally playing in the outfield. Lorenzen, in fact, took batting practice with the outfielders on Thursday. Previously, he had taken batting practice as extra work following a workout with fellow pitchers.

Lorenzen said, “It’s fantastic, the effort they’re putting in. A lot of the excuses were, ‘You know, we don’t want to overwork him.’ Well, let’s just sit down and talk about it then. They were willing to sit down and talk about it, which is one of the reasons why I love this staff so much and why I think the front office did a great job [hiring] this staff. They’re willing to find solutions for problems.”

New manager David Bell said, “We’ve put together a plan for the whole spring, knowing we can adjust it at any time. We didn’t want to go into each day not knowing what he’s going to do. We all felt better, he did, too. He was part of putting it together.”

Lorenzen, 27, pitched 81 innings last year with a 3.11 ERA and a 54/34 K/BB ratio. He’s one of baseball’s best-hitting pitchers as well. Last year, he swatted four homers and knocked in 10 runs in 34 trips to the plate. The last pitcher to hit at least four homers in a season was the Giants’ Madison Bumgarner, who did it in both 2014 (four) and 2015 (five). Lorenzen also posted a 1.043 OPS. According to Baseball Reference, there have been only 11 pitchers to OPS over 1.000 (min. 30 PA). The only ones to do it in the 2000’s are Lorenzen last year, Micah Owings in 2007 (1.033) and Dontrelle Willis in 2011 (1.032).