Archive for the ‘Kyle Lohse’ Category

St Louis Cardinals v San Francisco Giants - Game Seven

With Spring Training winding down, it was looking like Kyle Lohse was set to be on the outside looking in as a free agent on Opening Day. The Milwaukee Brewers will not let Kyle Lohse go unsigned, though. CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reports that the Brewers have reached an agreement with the right-hander. No contract terms were immediately available, but Lohse is heading to Brewers camp to take a physical in order to finalize the deal.

2012 was a banner year for the 34-year old, who set career bests in innings pitched, wins, strikeouts, ERA, FIP, xFIP, and WHIP. You’d think that it would have been easy for him to find a new home. BUT WAIT. There’s the whole issue of Lohse reportedly demanding something in the range of $14-15 million annually, and the signing team having to surrender their first round draft choice, and corresponding value (No. 17 overall, which was valued at $2 million in 2012) as compensation. Lohse turned down the St. Louis Cardinals $13.3 million qualifying offer in favour of hitting the open market.

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Having been a Minnesota Twins fan for the last thirty years or so, there’s not much that’s been more frustrating to me than Kyle Lohse. His Twins career doesn’t look like much to be upset over, or to think anything of at all. He had four years that were close enough to average, then started out dreadfully in his fifth and was traded to the Reds for nothing at the deadline. You really had to see him on a start-by-start basis to comprehend the misery Lohse created.

Lohse had really excellent stuff — a wicked slider and a fastball that hit the mid-nineties — and could occasionally use it very well, but was one of those guys we used to say was really two people, the good one and the awful one, and you never knew which would show up. He was also (it seemed from afar) a petulant child; his relationship with the team essentially ended in late 2005 when, in the words of some (perhaps overly) ambitious AP writer, he “dented manager Ron Gardenhire’s office door, apparently with a bat, injured his finger and might have permanently fractured his already strained relationship with the Twins.”

At the time he left in mid-2006, between his attitude and his apparently diminished abilities, I would probably have bet on Lohse being out of big-league baseball for good by the end of 2007. If you’d told me then that come 2012, a 34-year-old Lohse would be one of the ten or so best pitchers in the National League and a key member of a playoff rotation, I probably would have laughed, and maybe called you names (I was meaner then). How on earth did that happen?

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