Lohse happy to have full spring training with Brewers
FEB 19, 2014 4:53p ET
But considering that Lohse, then a free agent, was coming off of a 2012 season in which he went 16-3 for the Cardinals, posting career bests in wins, innings, strikeouts, ERA, WHIP and several other statistical metrics, it wasn't where the right-hander expected to be.
"As much as enjoyed sitting around wondering where I was going to end up last year," Lohse said sarcastically. "It wasn't exactly what I expected to be doing."
Signed by the Brewers to a three-year, $33 million dollar deal on March 25, the 6-foot-3 hurler made his Miller Park debut 11 days later, giving up one earned run in six innings in 3-1 loss to the Diamondbacks.
"I knew what he was capable of coming in last year just from facing him with St. Louis," said Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy. "He was everything I expected last year. He fit in real well, real fast and had a real solid year for us."
Aside from a four-start stretch in May and June that saw his record dip to 1-6 and his ERA rise as high as 4.39, Lohse proved to be the Brewers most consistent starter last season, notching 11 wins while pacing the staff with a 3.35 ERA and 198 2/3 innings pitched. While those numbers were all down from 2012, they were also among the best of this 13-year major-league career.
As well as Lohse pitched last year without the benefit of a full spring training, he's happy to be in camp on time and looks forward to preparing for the 2014 season.
"It's great to be here this year. I always try to come in ready to go," Lohse said before his first bullpen of spring training. "I don't have specific goals. I go along and see what I need to work on along the way. It's not like I'm going to invent a new pitch. I always tinker with stuff. I know where my pitches need to be because I'm a location guy. The main thing is that I need to have all of my pitches working and make sure I am consistent within my delivery."
Lohse also addressed the impact a solid spring training could have on his 2014 season.
"I know you need to be ready out of the gate to get off to a good start," he said. "A good start can set you up for the rest of the season. I've had a pretty good run the last three, four or five Aprils so I know what I need to do to start a season off right."
But ample preparation time isn't the only reason the Brewers are happy to have the 35-year-old veteran in camp on time this year.
"It's nice to have Kyle going through spring training this year for himself and for the team too. He's got good work habits and a really good routine. And he knows how to pitch, too," said Brewers manager Ron Roenicke. "I think the young guys in camp are going to learn an awful lot from him. It's all about routines and confidence. You feel like you've done enough physically, then it becomes a mental game. Kyle's got that. The young guys need to see that."
For a team with as many young arms in camp as the Brewers have, Loshe's leadership and the example he sets over the next six weeks could be nearly as valuable to the organization as the 15-20 wins it hopes he delivers once the season starts.