Since Kyle Lohse went through a very strange off-season I thought it would be a good idea to write an article on him and what to expect in terms of his stats for 2013. Lohse who turned 34 last October is coming off a career year where he went 16-3, 2.86 ERA, 1.09 Ratio, 143K in 211 IP. All those numbers were career highs for Lohse as he finished 7th in the Cy Young voting last season.
Quite a year to have heading into free agency but Lohse and his super agent Scott Boras due to a number of factors found themselves not getting that mega deal. Lohse watched players like Edwin Jackson & Annibal Sanchez cash in big time but like a game of musical chairs Lohse found himself without a chair. It wasn't until the end of Spring Training that Lohse signed a 3 year deal for 33 million dollars with the Brewers.
Now in terms of projecting this year can Lohse repeat his fantastic 2012 season? Well Lohse did have a real good season in 2011 as well ending up with 14 wins, 3.39 ERA, 1.17 Ratio, 111K in 188+ IP. But from 2004 through 2010 Lohse only had 1 season where he had double digit wins (15 in 2008 for Stl), an ERA below 4.00 (also in 2008 with a 3.78 ERA) and never a ratio below 1.30. Plus Lohse has always been a low strikeout guy. Lohse 12 year career numbers are with a 4.45 ERA & 1.37 Ratio.
So at the age of 33 with the help of the Cardinal organization and maybe Dave Duncan in 2011 did Kyle Lohse unlock something and turned himself into a front line pitcher? It appears that has happened, however there are number of things that has me considered about Kyle Lohse. for 2013. First he did not have a regular spring training. Yes he worked out and threw on his own but spring training is very important especially for the pitchers. Secondly he is leaving the Cardinal organization and St.Louis seems to get the most out of players like Kyle Lohse. These kind of players leave St.Louis for bigger dollars and are never close to being the same it seems to me. Thirdly that Brewer ballpark the ball flies out of there more so than a lot of other ballparks. Another reason is Kyle Lohse is not a pitcher who has killer stuff he will get you out by really hitting his spots. If Lohse is a bit off he can struggle and given he hardly had a spring training this concerns me. Finally when Lohse pitches well you have to worry about that Brewer bullpen coughing up wins for Lohse.
I am not saying Lohse can't be a decent pitcher but I see a lot of warning signs so I would not expect nowhere near the season Lohse put up last season. My expectation is Lohse will be a secondary depth starter this season given all the factors with the chance of having a down year.
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NL King - C.Lizza