In their second pitching trade of deadline Monday and fourth this month, the Reds picked up Kyle Lohse from the Twins for Class A righthander Zach Ward.
Lohse, a 27-year-old righthander, is in the midst of the worst season of his six-year big league career. He opened the season in Minnesota's rotation, but wound up being demoted to Triple-A and returning to the majors in middle relief. He's 2-5, 7.07 in 22 games (eight starts), with a 46-25 K-BB ratio in 64 innings. Opponents are batting .308 with eight homers against him. Lohse has enough stuff to be a solid mid-rotation starter, featuring a low-90s fastball and a slider that climbs into the mid-80s. But he lacks command of his pitches and frequently makes mistakes that batters punish. How much he really will offer Cincinnati remains to be seen. Lohse won a $3.95 million salary for 2006 via arbitration in February and will be arbitration-eligible again this offseason if he doesn't get nontendered. He has a 51-57, 4.88 record in 172 career games.
Ward, 22, was a third-round pick out of Gardner-Webb in 2005. He had one of the better pure arms in the Reds system, with a 93-94 mph fastball and a mid-80s slider. He has pitched mostly as a starter this year at low Class A Dayton in his pro debut, but may wind up as a late-inning reliever if he can't develop a changeup. In 20 games (18 starts), Ward was 7-0, 2.29. He had a 95-37 K-BB ratio, .188 opponent average and two homers allowed in 114 innings.