Can You Trust Kyle Lohse’s Fast Start?

Apr 22, 2011


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After tossing a shutout last night I’m sure Kyle Lohse is a popular waiver claim. What’s not to like about a guy with a 3-1 record, a 2.01 ERA, and a 0.73 WHIP? You should know he’s been a fast starter for most of his career.
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He got bombed last April (0-1, 6.55 ERA), but look at his recent April performances:
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2009:  3-0, 1.97 ERA
2008:  3-0, 2.36 ERA
2007:  1-1, 2.88 ERA
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That’s a total of 7-1 with a 2.41 ERA in April over those three years. Considering he went 23-27 the remaining months of those seasons, it’s easy to be skeptical. Factor in a 4.79 ERA over that stretch and the alarms really start going off. That doesn’t mean you should either drop him or avoid him, but be realistic with him.
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Lohse is 32 years old with a 91-99 record and a 4.73 ERA. He had a brilliant 15-6, 3.78 ERA season in 2008, but that was the only time his ERA was below 4.00 for the year. In his first ten seasons he only finished with a .500 record or better three times. Two of them came in 2002 and 2003, making them a distant memory. His career high is 130 strikeouts.
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Feel free to use him while he’s pitching as well as he is, but be ready to eject when things start going sour.

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