Earlier today, the Kansas City Royals signed veteran RHP Kyle Lohse to a minor-league contract. Is this a shot in the dark? Is this move significant? Let’s take a look.
A little over a week ago, the Kansas City Royals signed former Boston Red Sox pitcher Clay Buchholz to a minor-league deal. That move didn’t turn many heads, as signing a 33-year-old pitcher who hasn’t been good in a while doesn’t really fit into a rebuild. Today, the front office made another surprising move when it signed 16-year veteran Kyle Lohse to a similar contract. The deal pays $800,000 if Lohse makes the MLB roster and an extra $700,000 in performance bonuses. I’m sure many of you have questions, so let’s take a look at Lohse!
By the numbers: A brief history lesson
With a career record of 147-143, it’s easy to see the 39-year-old Lohse has a long track record in the MLB. A 4.40 ERA over those 16 seasons indicates he was once a solid pitcher. His 45-37 record from 2012-2016 is very misleading, especially when considering Lohse was 5-13 in 2015 and 0-2 the following season. Lohse appeared to have hit the metaphorical wall pitchers run into once they begin aging.
Lohse did not pitch in 2017. Then 38 years old, many expected him to hang his cleats up for good and put an end to what was a very solid and productive MLB career. Contrary to what others wanted, he’s worked his way back into professional baseball (for now). Will he ever reach the MLB again?
Can we expect anything from Lohse?
Unlike Buchholz, it is not wise to expect much (if anything) out of Kyle Lohse in 2018. Being 39 years old already stacks the odds against him. When you throw in the fact that he didn’t pitch last season, it makes this feat even more difficult. It would make for a great feel good, comeback story, but it’s just not likely to happen. Keep an eye out for a report from extended Spring Training.
What do you think of this move, Kansas City Royals fans? Let us know what you have to say in the comments?