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Cardinals GM calls re-signing Kyle Lohse “unlikely”

Oct 25, 2012, 1:18 PM EDT

Kyle Lohse Getty Getty Images

Kyle Lohse is hitting the open market coming off back-to-back career-years and today Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak admitted that re-signing the free agent right-hander is “probably unlikely.”

Some of that no doubt has to do with Lohse being in line for a big contract, but even if he were somewhat affordable the Cardinals have no shortage of rotation options with prospects Shelby Miller and Trevor Rosenthal joining holdovers Adam Wainwright, Chris Carpenter, Jake Westbrook, Lance Lynn, and Joe Kelly. And that’s not even counting Jaime Garcia, whose status is uncertain because of shoulder problems.

Lohse has thrown 400 innings with a 3.13 ERA during the past two seasons, so counting on anyone duplicating that performance stepping into his rotation spot would be silly. Of course, counting on Lohse to duplicate that performance in 2013 and beyond might be just as silly and in the meantime the Cardinals can get younger and cheaper.

  1. dcfan4life - Oct 25, 2012 at 1:22 PM

    Hello Yankees, Marlins, Rangers, Red Sox, Im Kyle Lohse. Give me a 6 year deal. Pay me a lot please. Thank you.

    • thereisaparty - Oct 25, 2012 at 2:21 PM

      I’m sure the Yankees and Rangers would just love to sign a flyball pitcher with low K-rates thru his age 39 season.

      • spytdi - Oct 25, 2012 at 2:35 PM

        Rangers front office will not bother with this guy. I think you said that much with a hint of sarcasm.

  2. stlouis1baseball - Oct 25, 2012 at 1:28 PM

    Not signing Kyle Lohse has been a foregone conclusion all year.
    Especially when you consider the young arms waiting in the wings.
    I would like to see Rosenthal in the rotation.

    • paperlions - Oct 25, 2012 at 1:37 PM

      I just wish they hadn’t extended Westbrook. I don’t mind having him around as a #7 option, but there is no reason to have him in the rotation with better options around….it would better to send Rosenthal , Kelly, or Lynn down to AAA so they can continue to work on all their pitches as a starter than to send them to the pen….and really, there should be no doubt that Miller starts next year in the rotation. Hopefully, they can use their depth to rest guys throughout the year to keep the younger guys rested for a playoff run.

      • gibbyfan - Oct 25, 2012 at 2:08 PM

        I couldnt agree more. To me it seems the money could have been much better spent and to add to the foolishness it is my understanding that for no apparent reason they added dollars to the front year–Why not just exercise the one year option. Make no sense whatsoever.

      • stlouis1baseball - Oct 25, 2012 at 2:54 PM

        Yeah…I wasn’t real high on the Westbrook extention either Paper.
        I think (as you state)…having him in the bullpen would be fine.
        For some reason…I like Rosenthal better in the rotation than Shelby.
        However, I don’t think you could necessarily go wrong with either.
        No sure I am on board with either L.L. or J.Kelly going down to AAA.
        Both have great stuff (as proven this year). It will probably be Rosenthal or Miller who starts in AAA. Or at least that is my thought anyway.

      • paperlions - Oct 25, 2012 at 2:58 PM

        I just meant that it would be better to push one to AAA to start than to move them to the bullpen, where they won’t use their secondary pitches or figure out different ways to get guys out by turning over the lineup multiple times. A move to the bullpen wouldn’t be a positive for the development of either guy…and neither has shown he can’t start yet….so a permanent move to the bullpen is not yet justified.

  3. kiwicricket - Oct 25, 2012 at 1:46 PM

    I think some team is going to give him the worst contract dished out this winter. Not the largest, but one of the worst.

    • paperlions - Oct 25, 2012 at 2:10 PM

      Yep, should be Joel Piniero 2.0

      • okwhitefalcon - Oct 25, 2012 at 3:59 PM

        I think joel Pineiro was Jeff Suppan 2.0, Lohse maybe 3.0.

        Lots of speculation with where Lohse will land in STL , seems as though the Dodgers or possibly Angels make the most sense. He’s from California, lives in Arizona in the off season and both have money to burn – great pitchers parks as well.

        I don’t know about the Westbrook resigning really – minimal risk I suppose.

        I suspect the 3 kids will all make the club, Lynn’s role will probably be determined by health of Carp/Garcia and spring training competition with the kids. I don’t think he’ll be headed back to AAA, he’s either in the rotation or righ handed long man.

        Lot’s of speculation on shortstop of course, if Furcal’s healthy (which they have no clue yet) it’s him – if not Kozma get’s first shot if the roster stands as it is. It sounds like Ryan Jackson has fallen out of favor for now for whatever reason.

        Here’s the link from the Post Dispatch article, good stuff to chew on:

        http://www.stltoday.com/sports/baseball/professional/cardinal-beat/cards-make-one-change-to-coaching-staff/article_db5643ae-1ebb-11e2-8665-001a4bcf6878.html

      • paperlions - Oct 25, 2012 at 4:34 PM

        Honestly, I don’t see much out of Kozma. He did have a nice hot streak, but he has 2 years of horrible play in AAA that are likely more indicative of his ability than 3 weeks in September. Jackson really plays excellent defense (Kozma reminds me way too much of T. Greene, both in the field and at the plate).

        The nice thing about NOT being exposed to the daily gossip in StL is I don’t have to hear fabrications like “players falling out of favor” for some reason. For example, all of the stuff in StL papers about Miller (attitude, conditioning, not listening to coaches) seem to be local gossip with no basis in reality….any time I saw a question posed about that in a national forum or to someone that works/writes about prospects/scouting throughout MiLB, they always said that they had no idea why anyone would think those things as they hadn’t heard anything or seen any evidence of them.

      • okwhitefalcon - Oct 25, 2012 at 6:04 PM

        Some of it is Cards fans run amock, talk show hosts looking for callers and writers looking for and angle (notice I didn’t use “narrative” there, I should be thumbed up for that alone!)

        I think the Miller stuff was mostly true (see last years suspension, this springs debacle, the atrcocious first half, skipped turns in rotation, no shake crap et al for instance)) kid (and he’s just a kid) wasn’t on the right track for whatever reason. All the national guys I listen to/read (Law, Jason Parks, Kevin Goldstein at the time) seemed to agree, Law said in a chat in regards to a possible Miller deal at the deadline by saying “Why sell low?” so he’d obviously tripped a few triggers beyond the STL.

        I think the Tyler Greene/Kozma comp is right on the money although I don’t think they’ll hand him the keys like they did Greene, at least I hope to hell not. No idea on Jackson really, I listened to an interview with Mo and SS was brought up and he wasn’t even mentioned, the response was (paraphrasing) “We’ll see how Raffy is in spring training and Pete’s earned every right to get an opportunity (yikes) by his play in September.” They obviously didn’t trust Jackson enough to give him any significant time even after he thoroughly outplayed Kozma in AAA and was called up 2 weeks before Koz was, something got him buried.

        Another aside to the young pitchers, Chris Carpenter has extended invitations to Miller, Kelly and Rosenthal to join him in STL for off season workouts this winter. Rosenthal has apparently accepted, no word on if Kelly or Miller will follow suit.

      • paperlions - Oct 25, 2012 at 6:15 PM

        That’s odd….since Law and many observes at Future Redbirds, all said repeatedly that the Cardinals changed his mechanics, and as soon as he went back to his old mechanics in mid-year his velocity and command came back…and that skipped turns in the rotation were to readjust his mechanics, and for nothing else.

        Those same sources also claimed that there was a miscommunication about his offseason workouts (with quotes from Moz accepting partial blame as they wanted him to bulk up, but instead he did a lot of road work and lost weight.

      • okwhitefalcon - Oct 25, 2012 at 8:01 PM

        Weird, I’ve never heard KLaw or any of the above national guys I mentioned say anything about the organization changing his mechanics being his downfall in the first half. Not sure why they would even consider it seeing the success he had before last year – makes no sense. Totally opposite in fact, they had to send minor league pitching coordinator Brett Stromm(sp?) down to restore what he’d gotten away from on his own. I did hear most thought he’d relied on a “down a tick” (Law quote) fastball too much and they wanted him to work on secondary pitches, build strength and get straight in general.

        The off season weight loss was definitely a point of contention with the club, here’s a detailed article from MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch complete with quotes – they were obviously on different pages going into spring:

        http://stlouis.cardinals.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20120319&content_id=27410306&vkey=news_stl&c_id=stl

        I saw an interview Shelby did with Jim Hayes the last week of the season, Hayes asked what he thought turned his season around and Miller’s response was short and contrite to a point “I started listening and stayed focused”.

        I’ll see if I can dig up the link, good stuff.

      • paperlions - Oct 25, 2012 at 8:19 PM

        It is in bits and pieces, but here are a couple of links:

        http://www.futureredbirds.net/2012/08/15/shelby-miller-back-on-track/

        http://www.cardsblog.com/2012/09/08/shelby-miller-easy-velocity-and-his-finish/

        I’ve never seen anything from the Cardinals (even from an anonymous or unnamed source) indicating that they had problems with his coachability or attitude….everything I’ve seen is writer/reporter hysterics/hypoerbole.

        To me, those rumors are not unlike all the bullshit about Bryce Harper; there is no evidence whatsoever that he was ever the person writers portrayed his as….a person like that can’t just turn it off in public 24/7….all the evidence suggests that the stories about Harper were 100% fabrications based on what some writers wanted to be true rather than on what happened.

      • okwhitefalcon - Oct 26, 2012 at 1:09 AM

        I think some is amplified for copy for sure, most of the Harper stuff was just silly.

        As for Miller, coming off the suspension at the end of last year I think the organization expected much more than what arrived in spring training and some things were said for effect. Compound that with a horrific first half, talk of demotion/trade and the story takes on a life of it’s own.

        I don’t think you’d ever hear attitude/coachability issues directly from the organization, that would just diminish value if it got to a critical mass situation ala Colby Rasmus.

        Local guys like Miklasz, Goold, Strauss, Rains and a few others all went public with the Raz issues long before Mo finally jettisoned him, it wasn’t exactly a secret.

        I give alot of credit to Miller, he made the necessary adjustments and took advantage of his opportunity, my guess is he’ll do what they tell him to do this winter and he comes to spring training ready to compete for a place in the rotation.

      • okwhitefalcon - Oct 26, 2012 at 3:33 PM

        Here’s a cool link for the HPGF (Hyperventilating Prospesct Geek Faraternity) crowd, good reading:

        http://www.stltoday.com/sports/baseball/professional/birdland/how-cards-prospects-rank-vs-other-clubs-talent/article_0990a8ca-1f8b-11e2-8685-0019bb30f31a.html

  4. tfbuckfutter - Oct 25, 2012 at 2:10 PM

    Brad Penny is also available for anyone who wants a pitcher who can only pitch in St. Louis but doesn’t have a team based in St. Louis.

    Also, Matt Morris and Joel Pineiro.

    • dwrek5 - Oct 25, 2012 at 2:45 PM

      Don’t forget about me!!!
      - Jeff Weaver

    • stlouis1baseball - Oct 25, 2012 at 2:56 PM

      But Brad Penny really didn’t “pitch” in the Lou’.
      If memory serves…the 3 minutes he was there he spent injuried.
      Could be wrong but that is how I remember it.
      Granted a healthy Matt Morris and Jeff Weaver were wonderful.
      But of course…they both also had the benefit of being healthy and working with Dave Duncan.

      • cardschick26 - Oct 26, 2012 at 2:28 AM

        In those “three minutes” he did hit a grand slam.

        Just sayin’.

  5. thesportsguy52 - Oct 25, 2012 at 2:33 PM

    ORIOLES

  6. cur68 - Oct 25, 2012 at 3:22 PM

    I don’t give a fig about Lohse on the free market. I’m just marveling, once again, like I always do whenever I see this guy, at the sheer size of his throwing arm compared to his glove hand. His right arm looks like a telephone pole and his left looks normal. I know he had surgery for pitching’s most bizarre injury and initially I wondered how in hell did he wind up with exertional compartment syndrome. But then I saw that freakish Andre The Giant hose and I kind of reckon that if anyone’s gonna finish up with a muscle over-growth problem in one arm its a guy with an enormous throwing arm. Word people: never arm wrestle that guy.

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