2013 Fantasy BaseballFantasy Baseball

Brewers Sign SP Kyle Lohse to 3 Year Deal

Photo by: Keith Allison
Photo by: Keith Allison

Kyle Lohse has packed his bags and now he can buy his plane ticket because he finally has a destination for 2013, Milwaukee.  The Brewers have reached an agreement (pending a physical) with Lohse for 3 years and $33 million.  The 34 year old right-hander should slot in behind Gallardo as the Brew Crew’s 2nd starter once he is ready to join the rotation.  He will obviously need time to pitch some innings to build his arm and legs up in preparation for the season, so I expect him to join the team in mid-late April.  The Brewers’ signing of Lohse keeps him in the NL Central, so other than now having to pitch against the Cardinals, he is quite familiar with the division.

Lohse is coming off an overall career best season.  With career highs in wins (16), strikeouts (143), ERA (2.86) and WHIP (1.090), he comes into 2013 with a high expectations.  However, at 34 years old it’s a better bet to say last year was an exception to the rule, the rule being Lohse is more of a middle to back end of the rotation pitcher with a mid-4 ERA and low strikeout total that pitches to contact.  Just looking at his career average season compared to last year and one would think the chart is comparing two completely different players.

 

IP

WINS

LOSSES

SO

ERA

WHIP

BABIP

Career   Average Season

196

12

11

123

4.45

1.369

 .301

2012

211

16

3

143

2.86

1.090

.267

 

I want to focus on BABIP (Batting Average on Balls In-Play) here because it’s the alarming difference that I feel explains why things went Lohse’s way last season.  I say this because his balls in play, ground ball/fly ball, line drive, and extra base hit percentages were all around his career averages, so he certainly benefited from that 34 point difference in batting average against him on balls put into play.  If that ticks back up from .267 to his career average of .301, he will likely not achieve the same impressive numbers that just earned him his new 3 year deal.  I give credit where credit is due and I do feel Lohse is a smarter pitcher than he used to be.  With experience comes smarts, and Lohse is a much more crafty pitcher now than in his younger days.  With that said, I don’t see him coming close to repeating his 2012.  My projections for Lohse are 30 starts, 190 innings, a 3.90 ERA with 120 strikeouts.  He is currently owned in 65% of Yahoo leagues.  If he went undrafted in your league due to hesitation from him not having signed with a team and you need a pitcher, go grab him and toss him in the back of your rotation. Yes Kyle Lohse had a fantastic 2012 season, but a guy who is already known for not missing bats isn’t going to improve much as he approaches the age of 35. The back of Lohse’s baseball card will tell you he is is basically a less successful version of Mark Buehrle.

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