How can a starting pitcher who received six NL Cy Young votes in 2012 be without an MLB home the next January? Well, for Kyle Lohse that nightmare has become a reality as he is without a team with pitchers and catchers reporting in just 30 days.
Lohse had the definition of a career season last year as he eclipsed career highs in several categories. At 33 years of age, Lohse threw in a career-high 211.0 innings and led the league in winning percentage with a win-to-loss ratio of .842. Lohse was also a mainstay in the St. Louis Cardinals‘ rotation starting 33 games while having career lows in ERA and WHIP– 2.86 and 1.090 respectively.
So, this begs the question: what is wrong with Kyle Lohse?
He is now 34 years old and has not missed any time in the last two seasons due to injury. The red flags are obviously not too apparent to me and I believe this is the type of player than can give a team an added edge in 2013. If not for Lohse’s terrific outing versus the Atlanta Braves in the NLWC, the Cardinals historic run to the NLCS would have never came to fruition. He started that do-or-die game and wound up with the win after pitching in 5.2 innings and allowing just two earned runs.
Apparently, this wasn’t impressive enough for Cardinals GM John Mozeliak as he called the chances of Lohse returning “slim.”
It baffles me that so many clubs would not like to have a proven pitcher like Lohse in their rotation, but perhaps the risk just isn’t worth the reward to some. Nonetheless, some team will score big with Lohse flying so far underneath the radar–it’s just a matter of which team that will be.