Kyle Lohse got a late start in 2013, as he wasn’t signed to a contract until spring training was nearly over.
But after signing with the Milwaukee Brewers on March 25 and getting off to a bit of a rocky start, Lohse righted the ship nicely—nicely enough to be named the Brewers101.com Pitcher of the Year.
Lohse, who turned 35 on Oct. 4, came to Milwaukee after five seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals, including winning 14 games for the 2011 team that eliminated the Brewers in the National League Championship Series before winning the World Series.
Lohse took awhile to find his groove. After 11 starts, Lohse was just 1-6 with a 4.39 ERA and a WHIP of 1.309.
He didn’t get his second win until June 9, but from there it was mostly smooth sailing for the right-hander.
Lohse was 10-4 over his final 21 starts with a 2.84 ERA and 1.098 WHIP. Overall, that translated to an 11-10 record, 3.35 ERA and 1.168 WHIP in 198.2 innings, with just 36 walks and 125 strikeouts.
Lohse also received a lot of credit for his work with young starters such as Tyler Thornburg and Wily Peralta as despite the late start to his season, he became one of the veteran leaders on the club almost immediately.
Lohse found his free agency to be a difficult situation last winter after the Cardinals made the one-year, $13.3 qualifying offer to him in November. That meant any club signing Lohse would have to surrender their first-round pick and the accompanying draft slot money out of their rookie signing pool.
So Lohse worked out against college hitters in simulated games in Arizona last spring while working what the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported was a “normal spring training schedule.”
Finally, the Brewers and Lohse came to terms on a three-year, $33 million deal. It paid off in the short term, as no Brewer pitcher had a better year than Lohse in 2013.
Coming Saturday: The Brewers101.com Player of the Year.
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