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GM downplays odds of Cardinals re-signing Kyle Lohse after Chris Carpenter’s setback

Feb 5, 2013, 2:49 PM EDT

kyle lohse getty Getty Images

Today’s news that Chris Carpenter is unlikely to pitch in 2013 and may end up retiring seemingly opens the door for the Cardinals to bring back Kyle Lohse.

After all, Lohse remains unsigned as the draft pick compensation attached to his free agency has scared teams off and the Cardinals wouldn’t have to forfeit a pick to welcome him back (although they would be forfeiting whatever pick they might end up with if he signed elsewhere).

However, when asked about that possibility general manager John Mozeliak said: “Right now, we’re comfortable with what we have.” When pressed further, he said: “I don’t want to get into specifically talking about one player.”

That could change, of course, but there’s plenty of reason to think that’s not just a smokescreen. St. Louis has a pair of really good, MLB-ready pitching prospects in Shelby Miller and Trevor Rosenthal, as well as Joe Kelly who did well stepping into the rotation last year. Those three could compete for one spot behind Adam Wainwright, Jaime Garcia, Lance Lynn, and Jake Westbrook.

There’s no doubt that losing Carpenter is a big blow to the Cardinals and takes a big chunk out of their outstanding rotation depth–particularly if Garcia isn’t ready for Opening Day following shoulder problems–but they’re as well prepared as a team could be to handle the loss.

  1. gibbyfan - Feb 5, 2013 at 3:24 PM

    Cards should give KL a long hard look —Garcia is dealing with an injury that is a big ? Westbrook is not exactly my idea of a stron starter. The two youngsters are looking freat but they are still a bit of an unknown and will likely need some time to develop. There are questions about Lynn too and I doubt he will ever see anything again like his start of last year —To me Lohse is worth consideration –maybe 25/2years.third year options?

    • okwhitefalcon - Feb 5, 2013 at 4:41 PM

      Listening to Mo doing the local media follow up, I’ve never heard him this disappointed.

      Paraphrasing:

      “We’ve based our entire organizational starting pitching culture on Carp’s personality and work ethic, this is an emotional day for me.”

      Heavy praise.

      • paperlions - Feb 5, 2013 at 5:25 PM

        I don’t suppose you could hook me up with a link for that interview, could you? Was it just a live deal?

      • okwhitefalcon - Feb 5, 2013 at 6:51 PM

        Live from the Big 550 or 1380, I was going back and forth trying to get as much info as possible.

        I’ll see if there’s a link to it and post back – great stuff from Mo.

      • paperlions - Feb 5, 2013 at 7:59 PM

        Thanks. I check the StL stations on line from time to time looking for interviews, but really never find anything that you didn’t post….always appreciate it when you post the links. Thanks.

  2. icanspeel - Feb 5, 2013 at 3:26 PM

    So starts the negotiations.. Why would he say they need him now? Cause if they did the price would definitely go up. Need to play it cool.

  3. stlouis1baseball - Feb 5, 2013 at 3:26 PM

    Spot on Bob. Garcia and Westbrook both worry the hell out of me. I am hoping they haven’ alienated Lohse to the point of there being no chance he re-signs. Cause’ he is looking like the best option with the stable of youngsters in the rotation and/or pen.

  4. kiwicricket - Feb 5, 2013 at 3:32 PM

    Can Lohse’s agent not float round to all the GM’y types that he will give cash back regarding the lost draft pick? Knock 3-5M off the final price and call it even?
    I know the Teams are missing out on the talent they might sign, but it’s all relative in the end.

    I think he’s unsigned because he was shaping up as the worst bargain of the winter financially(him and Hamilton) and teams have cottoned onto that pretty well.

    • stlouis1baseball - Feb 5, 2013 at 3:55 PM

      You make valid points Kiwi. I can see either scenario playing out.

  5. jrobitaille23 - Feb 5, 2013 at 3:35 PM

    wouldn’t be surprised if starting rotation looked like this in July:

    Wainright
    Garcia
    Miller
    Rosenthal
    Kelly

    Westbrook and Lynn spot starters/long men/7th & 8th men

    • paperlions - Feb 5, 2013 at 3:44 PM

      Lynn had the 2nd highest K rate among NL starters last year. His 2012 season wasn’t an accident. It’ll be pretty hard to bump him out of the rotation. Assuming the Cardinals are going with their 5 best starters out of ST (and not giving jobs to Westbrook or Garcia), Lynn should be in the rotation.

      • gibbyfan - Feb 5, 2013 at 3:53 PM

        hope your right Paper and we shall soon see—my strong feeling is that kid turns out to be medocre…….

      • spudchukar - Feb 26, 2013 at 5:59 PM

        No doubt he “deserves” a spot. The question is what is best for the team. Lynn is the only proven bull pen guy, although Kelly did reasonably well in that role late last year. But Kelly’s command is still spotty at times, and that makes him more likely to succeed as a starter. The Cards are nuts, but not as nuts as other teams if they do not resign Lohse. Personally, I would still like to see Miller start 2013 at AAA, and prove he can get hitters out consistently there, before being thrust into the big league rotation.

  6. stex52 - Feb 5, 2013 at 3:39 PM

    Mozeliak can’t be exactly stunned that Carpenter is not coming back. We have had hints going back to last summer that the healing process was not going exceptionally well. I don’t expect them to go running after Lohse because they must have already spitballed this scenario. If they wanted him they would have kept the lines open.

  7. psu4me - Feb 5, 2013 at 4:38 PM

    I don’t feel comfortable at all with Jaime as our 2, not after last year. Plus we don’t know how he is responding to his rehab. I do like the depth but I’d keep Westbrook in as number 5 and use Miller/Kelly/Rosenthal out of the pen. We know what to expect from Jake and thats a lot of groundball outs.

    • okwhitefalcon - Feb 5, 2013 at 4:55 PM

      I don’t feel comfy with Jaime as a #5.

      Hell, I don’t feel comfy with Jaime on the roster.

      Lynn and Westbrook are going to be in the rotation barring injury – book it.

  8. okwhitefalcon - Feb 5, 2013 at 5:32 PM

    Interesting comments by STL media as things move forward, it seems the general consensus is Joe Kelly has the clear edge over Miller/Rosenthal going into spring for the 5th spot in the rotation.

    The competition will be great to watch – someone’s gonna have to earn the trust and the responsibility.

    • paperlions - Feb 5, 2013 at 8:00 PM

      I think the StL media is just doing what most media members do…..assuming that there is some kind of hierarchy established as opposed to guys at different stages of development, and assuming that they guy they have seen the most is the guy most suited to fill the open spot.

  9. gopherz - Feb 5, 2013 at 6:12 PM

    ho-ray;

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