Reds Get Yet More Pitching With Lohse

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.

Earlier today, Cincinnati acquired Rheal Cormier from the Phillies. Previously in July, the Reds traded with the Mariners for Eddie Guardado and with the Nationals for Bill Bray and Gary Majewski.

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.

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