Lohse will start Saturday
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
JUPITER, Fla. -- Kyle Lohse showed the St. Louis Cardinals he wasn't just sitting around waiting for a contract.
The right-hander threw 70 pitches and got 20 outs in a simulated game Monday, three days after signing a one-year, $4.25 million free agent deal. The team saw enough to schedule his first spring training start Saturday.
"You're not going to be 100 percent this time of spring anyway," Lohse said. "I just felt like I normally would at this time of the year.
"Everything was coming out smooth and I felt strong. I wasn't trying to overthrow anything and the ball was doing everything it was supposed to do."
Another Cardinals pitcher, closer Jason Isringhausen, was feeling better after being scratched from his outing Tuesday due to back soreness. He was scheduled to pitch again Wednesday after the team's lone day off of the spring.
"It's fine, but no sense in pushing it," Isringhausen said. "It had been bothering me for about a week."
Lohse's outing was about more than just testing his conditioning level. Pitching coach Dave Duncan offered pointers to keep Lohse from tipping his pitches.
out of the stretch.
"It was something completely new that we were trying and it didn't feel too foreign or anything," Lohse said. "I might fall in a bad habit once in a while."
Duncan said Lohse, 9-12 with a 4.62 ERA last year and 11 games below .500 for his career, was a pitcher who could benefit from more extensive game-planning. He said the scouting report on Lohse is he tries too hard to get strike one at times, giving up too many hits and several home runs, and would be better off nibbling at the corners on occasions to keep the batters honest.
"He can make pitches, he's not out there just heaving it," Duncan said. "There's been times when he's going out there and had overpowering type games and there's been times when he's gone out there and you wonder, 'What's he doing?"'
Lohse is hoping working with Duncan, who has a history of success working with pitchers carrying career numbers similar to his, will help him smooth out the bumps.
"I've had really good spurts and then for whatever reason I'll have a couple of bad starts in a row," Lohse said. "That's something he can help with, minimizing that.
"You're always going to have your lulls, it's being able to stop it before it gets too bad."
Lohse had been throwing to college hitters at Cal-State Irvine and Cal-State Fullerton while awaiting a deal. He said Monday's routine wasn't much different, aside from the fact the hitters didn't have metal bats.
Lohse has five pitches and said he was happy with all of them on Monday.
"Obviously there's a couple of things I need to work on," Lohse said. "That's pretty normal this time of the year."
Lohse is wearing uniform No. 26, which became available when the Cardinals released utilityman Scott Spiezio earlier this month. Spiezio was let go after being charged in a six-count complaint involving drunken driving and assault in a December car crash.
"I think it was the lowest available," said Lohse, who wore No. 49 when he came up with the Twins, wore No. 28 with the Reds and No. 37 with the Phillies. "I'm not real picky."
Right-hander Mike Parisi, a top prospect and the likely ace at Triple-A Memphis, also threw in the simulated game and Duncan was impressed.
"He's going to pitch in the big leagues," Duncan said. "I don't know when it's going to be, but he's got big-league stuff."