Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Does Kyle Lohse make sense now?
By Richard Durrett
The short answer, at least right now, is no. That's not to say things couldn't change, but despite Martin Perez's broken bone in his forearm and the fact that it's four weeks before he even resumes a throwing program, the Texas Rangers shouldn't be rushing into anything with free agent Kyle Lohse.
They should do what they're doing: Keep in contact with Scott Boras, but explore other avenues. ESPNNewYork.com's Adam Rubin reports that the Rangers reached out to ask about the availability of Detroit pitcher Rick Porcello. He's 24 and was 10-12 with a 4.59 ERA in 2012. He's pitched at least 160 innings in each of his four seasons with the Tigers. That's not bad for a fifth starter.
The other thing about Porcello: We're talking about a trade here, which means no draft pick concerns. The problem with Lohse is that the Rangers would have to give up the No. 24 pick in the 2013 draft and the pool money that goes with it if they sign Lohse. They're not going to do that without getting him inked to at least a two-year deal. On one hand, the Rangers might have the leverage to get a deal that's favorable to them done with Lohse, who is still without a job here in March. But on the other, it's a lot to give up for a guy that would slot into a spot that may just be temporary.
Colby Lewis' rehab is going well. He's ahead of schedule. If he has not setbacks, he could return in May. If that's the case, why not cobble something together -- Robbie Ross or Randy Wells, for instance -- for the first six or eight weeks and then insert Lewis into the rotation? If the Rangers decided to skip the fifth starter spot based on off days in the first six weeks of the season, they could limit the number of starts needed by that position to five or six. Yes, the club would probably rather Ross start in the bullpen, but they may be forced to start him with limited options early. Wells, a long shot, has pitched well and will continue to get a look.
It just doesn't seem worth giving up the draft pick to add Lohse at this point. But watch Alexi Ogando, too. If he continues to struggle and the team thinks it has some big question marks at the Nos. 4 and 5 spots, maybe that alters things. Pitching depth is never a bad thing. That's why if you're Texas, you've got to check around. And if Lewis' progress gets stalled, that could certainly change things. For now, though, the Rangers should stay in a holding pattern with Lohse.
Do you agree?