The buzz around the St. Louis Cardinals has been that Kyle Lohse will not be resigned. That was confirmed by GM John Mozeliak this morning, when he said that the 34-year-old veteran is “unlikely” to be resigned.
Though the Redbirds have a stockpile of young arms, Kyle Lohse has been Mr. Reliable since his signing with the team in 2008. In the 3 seasons that he has accumulated at least 30 starts, he has at least 14 wins and an ERA no higher than 3.78.
After a career year this year, he should do quite well in free agency. With career bests in wins, innings pitched, strikeouts, ERA, WHIP, and batting average against. That’s quite impressive, considering the fact that he did all this at 34.
Not wanting to be too much of a downer, let’s take a quick look at a few of the arms that could replace Lohse in the Cardinals system. First and foremost, I think Joe Kelly has a leg up on the competition. Considering the fact that he threw very well in his 107 innings of work this year, to the tune of a 3.53 ERA, I think he will be in the rotation. I am hoping the rotation will be Chris Carpenter, Adam Wainwright, Joe Kelly, Lance Lynn, and Jaime Garcia.
It’s tough to see any real chinks in the armor with a rotation like that! There is a chance perhaps of a free agent pickup, but I don’t think that is a route the Redbirds are likely to take. Another possibility is having Shelby Miller make a few starts and easing him into the rotation much like the look that Joe Kelly got this season. It would certainly make sense, given the fact that Miller had been working his way through the minors for nearly 3 years before his first MLB appearance this season.
In his first 13 2/3 big league innings, Miller has 16 Ks and a win under his belt. He pitched tremendously well against the division rival Cincinnati Reds in his only start, going 6 innings, striking out 7, and helping lead the Redbirds to a 1-0 win. Regardless of whether or not Kyle Lohse stays a member of the Cardinals, I think they are primed for another great season next year.