(Baseball StL) -- Kyle Lohse has to be the most underrated pitcher in major league baseball. With almost no fanfare what-so-ever, Lohse is putting together a season that should put him in consideration for the Cy Young award.
He allowed three hits and no runs in Wednesday night’s win over Houston. Lohse is now 7-0 with a 2.21 ERA in his last 12 starts. His record for the year is 13-2. That could easily be 17-2 had he received better run support. Lohse figures to get about eight more starts this season, so it’s possible if he continues to pitch like he has lately, that he could still end up with 19 or 20 wins.
It seems highly unlikely Lohse will win the Cy Young, or even get serious consideration from the voters. He told me today “I’m sure they’ll find some reason not to vote for me”. He’s always been a guy who flies under the radar. He deserved to be on the National League all star team this year but was snubbed. He was the Cardinals best starter over the course of last season, and he’s been the most consistent starter again this year. Yet he rarely gets any attention for it. Maybe that would be different if he got more strikeouts. Lohse is more than content to retire hitters with ground balls and pop ups.
After the re-signing of Jake Westbrook this week, the writing is on the wall for Lohse. He won’t be coming back to the Cardinals next season. They won’t be able to afford him. Lohse is a free agent after this season and he’s in line for a contract in the neighborhood of four years, $60 million. The Cardinals won’t want to shell out that kind of money for him, not with Shelby Miller tearing it up in Memphis and deserving of a shot in the rotation next season.
Lohse says he’d like to stay in St. Louis, but expects no contract offer from the Cardinals before this season plays out. He told me “I’m not holding out hope for something crazy happening. Looks like we’ll wait until the end of the year”.
Seems like a real long shot that he’d be back. Maybe he can pitch the Cardinals into the World Series before he goes. And then pick up a Cy Young award.