Tag:Kyle Lohse
Posted on: June 2, 2011 2:25 pm
Edited on: June 2, 2011 5:18 pm

The ballad of two Kyles, and a Cardinal test

While schoolkids across the land sweat through final exams, the Cardinals dive into their latest test in a season full of them: Overcoming the hip injury that sent starter Kyle McClellan to the disabled list this week.

In McClellan's place, rookie right-hander Lance Lynn will get a look. Summoned from Triple-A Memphis to start Thursday night's game against San Francisco (on short rest, nonetheless), Lynn, a supplemental first-round pick in the 2008 draft, was 5-3 with a 4.06 ERA.

Few pitchers in the game have been as valuable as the unassuming McClellan, who, along with Kyle Lohse, has done wonders in keeping the Cardinals atop the NL Central even after losing Adam Wainwright for the season this spring and while Chris Carpenter battles through a (so far) disappointing season.

"In Jupiter this spring, the sky was falling," general manager John Mozeliak said last week, referring to the immediate aftermath of Wainwright's elbow injury. "People said it was doomsday for the organization.

"To see what McClellan has been able to do, giving us a chance to win baseball games, has been special. Both guys, McClellan and Lohse, have done it from different directions: Lohse is healthy [following forearm surgery last summer], and McClellan came in from the bullpen. Both have helped steady the ship."

McClellan, the National League's first six-game winner this season, is expected to miss two weeks with the left hip flexor strain. Because he had made 202 major-league appearances before this season with zero starts, and never pitched more than 75 2/3 innings in the majors, the Cards figured they would have to limit his innings at some point this season. They hope maybe this will be a natural way of doing so.

"There's enough good rotations in this league, if you want to compete successfully, you need to trot out somebody that gives you a chance every day," manager Tony La Russa said recently of McClellan. "[Wainwright] was a huge hole, and Kyle's wanted it and he worked hard every day and he's done a real good job."

As usual, the Cardinals have had the angles figured. They've had McClellan prepare as a starter the past couple of springs to give them options, and they've been rewarded for their preparedness this year.

"I like him in the bullpen so much, but Dunc has been saying since the first year that this guy could be a starter," La Russa said of pitching coach Dave Duncan. "As he so often does, Dunc has got it figured out."

McClellan had a 3.11 ERA through his first 10 outings, but that swelled to 3.86 during a seven-run, four-inning stint while battling the sore hip against San Francisco on Monday.

Meantime, with McClellan out, the Cardinals will lean even more on Lohse. Fully recovered from surgery last May 28 to relieve nerve compression in his right forearm, Lohse so far has been dominant.

His 2.13 ERA ranks third in the NL behind Atlanta's Jair Jurrjens (1.51) and Florida's Josh Johnson (1.64), and he's 7-2 through 11 starts heading into Saturday's start against the Cubs.

In nine post-surgery starts late in 2010, Lohse was 3-4 with a 7.25 ERA.

"I think he really needed all of last year to recover," Mozeliak says. "It was a unique surgery, not common in our sport. He had to get himself strong to where his confidence was back.

"You see a difference in him now in how he approaches things."


Posted on: May 27, 2010 10:01 pm

Cardinals may need pitching soon

With right-hander Kyle Lohse set for forearm surgery on Friday and a long season stretched out in front of them, maybe scoring runs shouldn't be the Cardinals' chief concern after all.

Right now, even with a rotation that ranks second to San Diego's in the National League with a 3.03 ERA, the warning signs are flashing.

While the Cardinals figure to get right-hander Brad Penny back when he's eligible to return from the disabled list June 7, there is no timetable -- yet -- for Lohse's return.

And though rookie Jaime Garcia (1.14 ERA, 11 consecutive scoreless innings) has been sensational, he underwent Tommy John ligament transfer surgery in September, 2008, and only pitched a total of 37 2/3 innings combined at three minor-league levels in 2009.

Which all likely will put St. Louis in the market for more starting pitching at some point this season. Seattle's Cliff Lee, Houston's Roy Oswalt, Cleveland's Jake Westbrook and possibly even Oakland's Ben Sheets are all among the names expected to become available between now and the July 31 trade deadline, though La Russa -- whose club acquired John Smoltz last year -- isn't allowing his imagination to run wild at this point.

"I think it will come from within [the organization]," La Russa said of any eventual pitching reinforcements. "Mo [general manager John Mozeliak], can answer that better, and maybe differently. But I haven't heard anything different than from within."

It isn't that the Cardinals are anywhere close to trouble now, even with Lohse headed into unknown territory to undergo surgery for an injury to which there apparently is no precedent in major-league baseball.

With co-aces Chris Carpenter and Adam Wainwright breathing fire, the Cardinals are in good shape. Garcia, so far, so good.

"I think we'll get Penny back [when his DL stint is up]," manager Tony La Russa said Thursday. "That means we'll have four solid guys. There's a question mark on Lohse. But everybody has problems."

Until the Cardinals get Penny back, they're down two-fifths of their rotation. As La Russa said, for one thing, that gives an opportunity to rookie P.J. Walters, who made just his second career start on Thursday in San Diego.

The kid stepped up to the challenge, throwing five shutout innings. He allowed four hits, struck out four and walked two.

Saturday in Chicago's Wrigley Field, Adam Ottavino, the Cardinals' first-round pick in 2006, is expected to make his first major-league start. Another opportunity.

Garcia, 23, certainly has made the most of his. He's worked six or more innings and allowed two or fewer earned runs in each of his first seven starts, and the last rookie to do that was named Fernando Valenzuela, back in 1981.

The issue is, if Garcia continues pitching this well, it's hard to see how there won't be a breaking point when he reaches a certain number of innings. What are the Cardinals going to do, allow a prized kid less than two years off of Tommy John surgery to, say, quadruple his innings-pitched load from last year? He's at 55 1/3 innings pitched so far in 2010.

"You can't speculate," La Russa said. "All you can do is watch closely. He never really forced it ... you really have to wait and see how the season develops. We're going to be really careful with him."

Lohse was diagnosed this week with exertional compartment syndrome, an uncommon, exercise-induced neuromuscular condition that causes pain and swelling in the legs or arms. As St. Louis Post-Dispatch beat writer Joe Strauss reported, it is most common in marathon runners and motocross drivers. Athletes in those sports generally have resumed activity within six-to-eight weeks, though, as a pitcher, Lohse is expected to take a longer.

La Russa said Thursday he figures Lohse will return "this year. Other than that, we just have to wait."

Posted on: May 27, 2010 6:45 pm

Cards' RHP Lohse to undergo surgery

Ailing St. Louis right-hander Kyle Lohse will undergo surgery on his right forearm Friday in Los Angeles and will be lost to the club for an indefinite period of time.

The Cardinals have placed Lohse on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to May 23 with exertional compartment syndrome in his right forearm, and they say they are not certain when he will be able to return. The hope is that it will be before the season is finished.

Lohse, who last pitched on Saturday against the Dodgers, is 1-4 with a 5.89 ERA over six starts this season. Pitcher Fernando Salas has been recalled from Triple-A Memphis to replace him on the roster.

Category: MLB
Posted on: December 7, 2009 7:57 pm

Cardinals agree to terms with P Brad Penny

INDIANAPOLIS -- He isn't Matt Holliday -- that situation is still pending -- but the St. Louis Cardinals did bag a starting pitcher Monday, agreeing to terms with free agent Brad Penny on a one-year deal, sources with knowledge of the talks told CBSSports.com.

The deal, pending a physical examination on Tuesday, will pay Penny a base salary of $7.5 million, with $1.5 million in incentives attached.

Penny will join a Cardinals' rotation that was lacking after a strong top three of Chris Carpenter, Adam Wainwright and Kyle Lohse.

The big right-hander spent most of 2009 proving he again was healthy after battling a sore shoulder for most of 2008. In 34 starts for Boston and San Francisco in '09, Penny went 11-9 with a 4.88 ERA in 173 1/3 innings pitched.

The Giants were hoping to re-sign Penny and made a concerted effort but were informed Monday that he had decided to sign elsewhere. The Cardinals are hopeful that the news will become official by Tuesday evening.

Posted on: March 13, 2008 8:58 pm

Desperation meets mediocrity in St. Louis

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Kyle Lohse has lots to prove and, obviously, based on the difficulty he had finding a job and St. Louis' tepid reaction upon signing him to a cut-rate deal Thursday, expectations are low already.

Question is, can he rise even to meet those?

History says don't get too excited, Cardinals fans.

Time was when Minnesota thought the world of Lohse, but he didn't take well to coaching back then, didn't make the necessary adjustments and clashed with manager Ron Gardenhire. He couldn't win in his second chance in Cincinnati, then got enough run support in Philadelphia last season to help the Phillies win the NL East title.

He sought a multi-year contract in the neighborhood of Carlos Silva (four years, $48 million with Seattle over the winter) and even in a game flush with cash right now, nobody was silly enough to award that kind of charity to a guy whose ERA usually is higher than the league average.

"If it were a perfect world, we wouldn't have had to go down this path," St. Louis general manager John MOzeliak said. "But it's not and we're going to need someone to pitch every fifth day."

As I said, not exactly a ringing endorsement. It's like Casey Stengel's classic line one year when he didn't like any of his catching prospects. You need a catcher, Stengel explained, otherwise the ball will roll all the way to the backstop.

And you need someone to pitch every fifth day ... especially in St. Louis right now, with Matt Clement in the midst of a slow comeback, Joel Pineiro no guarantee physically and with Chris Carpenter and Mark Mulder set to start the season on the disabled list.

The best thing you can say about Lohse is that, if he lasts the season in the rotation, he'll log a lot of innings -- probably, close to 200 worth. They may not all be quality, many may be ugly, but he'll take the ball.

-- Don't be surprised if left-hander Horacio Ramirez, released by Seattle this week, eventually lands in Florida with the Marlins. They've inquired about him in the past. Cincinnati also continues to bottom-feed in the search for starting pitchers.

-- Regarding this Yankees-Tampa Bay business, yes, you can make a case that Rays youngster Elliot Johnson went into the plate too hard when he bowled over young Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli, breaking his wrist. But let's remember here that part of spring training is about young kids trying to make their way into the game, and that includes trying to impress their manager and teammates with hard-nosed play. It's unfortunate that Cervelli was seriously hurt, but the play was not the dirty play that New York manager Joe Girardi made it out to be.

Besides, wasn't Johnson playing the way Girardi insists that his teams play?

Now Shelley Duncan's spikes-up slide into second baseman Akinori Iwamura is another story. That clearly crossed the line. And regarding Duncan's explanation that he has been taught since he was young to kick the ball out of the fielder's glove in that situation, check out the pictures: Duncan's left leg is waist high toward Iwamura's right side. Only problem is, Iwamura's glove (containing the ball) is on the other side of his body. If Duncan was attempting to kick the ball out of Iwamura's glove, his aim is more off-target than the Yankees' claims that they weren't trying to retaliate.

-- Just one question regarding Billy Crystal's appearance/strikeout with the New York Yankees in Florida on Thursday: Did he pass baseball's steroids test? Or will he simply become the latest Yankee to be linked with performance-enhancing drugs?

Likes: Mel Stottlemyre healthy enough to be serving as Seattle's pitching coach. ... The Yankees sending their starting lineup to Virginia Tech, site of last spring's horrible shootings, for an exhibition game Tuesday. Class move. ... The bulletin board in Kansas City's clubhouse with the heading "Who Do YOu Love?" and photos of various Royals' families and loved ones thumb-tacked to it. ... The Pontiac Solstice convertible I was able to upgrade to for this stint in Arizona without an additional fee. ... The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report with Stephen Colbert on at 10 and 10:30 in Arizona, early enough for a tired scribe to catch some of before lights out.

Dislikes: Godspeed to former pitcher and current broadcaster Rick Sutcliffe as he battles colon cancer. Thank goodness it was caught early and it looks like he'll make a full recovery, but a few prayers certainly can't hurt.

Sunblock day? Yes, another beauty in the 70s but, alas. Word is thunderstorms are due Sunday.

Rock-n-Roll lyric of the day:

"City girls seem to find out early
"How to open doors with just a smile"

-- The Eagles, Lyin' Eyes 

Category: MLB
Posted on: February 29, 2008 7:41 pm
Edited on: February 29, 2008 7:46 pm

Mets look at pitching possibilities

TAMPA, Fla. -- The New York Mets have discussed free agent starting pitcher Kyle Lohse and others internally, according to sources close to the Mets, and still may make a move to add starting pitching this spring.

Lohse remains the most attractive of a handful of starters who so far appear to have priced themselves out of business because he's only 29 and is coming off of a season in which he worked 192 innings and compiled a 4.62 ERA for Cincinnati and Philadelphia last season.

Among the other starters still unsigned: Jeff Weaver (31, 6.20 ERA for Seattle in '07), Freddy Garcia (32, coming off of shoulder surgery last August), Eric Milton (32, coming off of an injury-plagued year with Cincinnati) and David Wells (44, 157 innings pitched for San Diego and Los Angeles and a 5.12 ERA).

The Mets are said to be considering many options in the wake of acquiring ace Johan Santana, including beginning the season with Orlando "El Duque" Hernandez in the bullpen. The thinking there being that they could save him from wearing out by season's end if they limit his innings early, and maybe move him back into the rotation later in the year.

Among the other reasons the Mets continue to study free agent pitchers who are available: They're still not sure whether Mike Pelfrey (3-8, 5.57 ERA in 72 innings pitched last season) is seasoned enough for the big league rotation and though Pedro Martinez looks good this spring, he's no lock to stay healthy all season.

St. Louis is another club that could be in the market for pitching if Matt Clement's comeback lags. However, the Cardinals have indicated that their player payroll is maxed out. The Chicago Cubs also could be a player for Lohse or Weaver to add depth to a rotation that includes a couple of questions: One, whether Jason Marquis sticks all season and, two, whether Ryan Dempster's conversion from closer takes.

A couple of other notes:

-- The Florida Marlins have discussed adding oUtfielder Corey Patterson, a Scott Boras client like Lohse and Weaver, who remains unsigned. Cameron Maybin, one of the high-ceilinged prospects acquired from Detroit, is projected to start in center for the Marlins but there is some organizational concern that, at 20, and with only 49 big league at-bats, if he isn't ready, he could get buried. But it's more likely that the Marlins will go with Alejandro De Anza instead of Patterson. De Anza made the Marlins out of camp last spring but suffered a broken ankle after nine games and missed much of the rest of the season.

-- The Cubs-Baltimore Brian Roberts trade talks continue to simmer and the possibility remains that Roberts could be a Cub by opening day. Chicago scouts continue to track Roberts.

Likes: Gorgeous cover on the Pittsburgh media guide this year, an evening shot of PNC Park with lights reflecting off of the Allegheny River. ... Manny Sanguillen in camp, same winning smile. ... ELO's Mr. Blue Sky on the public address system before Friday's clash-of-Pennsylvania, Phillies-Pirates Grapefruit League game. ... This line from Alan Schwarz in a New York Times story on the Pirates: "... their roster's somnolence is marked by how their most recent signee, pitcher Byung-Hyun Kim, is a virtual narcoleptic." ... Mixon Fruit Farm in Bradenton, which has become a must-stop for lunch along the trails. The orange juice, as you might suspect, is out of this world, and so was the tropical milkshake featuring fresh oranges, pineapples and cherries.
Dislikes: Need more hours in the day. Even if we got an extra day this month thanks to leap year. Still not enough hours.

Sunblock day? We're getting there, with temps finally reaching the 70s. Still, it was in the 40s early Friday morning and a chilly breeze persisted for  most of the morning. We can only hope that the horror of this "cold-weather" snap is behind us now.

Rock-n-Roll lyric of the day:

"I got shackles on my wrists
Soon I'll slip 'em and be gone
Chain me in a box in your river
And I'll rise singin' this song
Trust none of what you hear
And less of what you see
This is what will be"

-- Bruce Springsteen, Magic

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com