Rehabbing Cardinals starter Kyle Lohse turned in his best start of the season Tuesday night—for AAA Memphis.
Lohse, trying to return from a rare injury called extreme compartmental syndrome, threw seven innings and struck out nine batters against just two walks and three hits. With Jeff Suppan on the disabled list following a groin injury, Lohse might get a chance to make his first Major League start since May on Sunday, against the Chicago Cubs.
Kyle Lohse’s first rehab start at AAA Memphis Monday was a qualified success; the St. Louis Cardinals, meanwhile, will take any kind of success from their starting pitchers. The starter threw three innings and, according to Rotoworld, hit the low nineties with his fastball.
Lohse will make one to two more rehab starts before rejoining the Cardinals’ beleaguered rotation.
“If I’m facing hitters on Wednesday, if that goes well, then the next step is to try to look at when I could get a rehab start in,” Lohse said. “That’s down the road. I’ve still got to make it through the next couple days.”
Lohse’s first throw was Saturday. After only one day off, he took the mound again on Monday, and was thrilled with the results. He once again threw approximately 50 pitches in the bullpen at Busch Stadium, reporting delight with the movement on both his fastball and his offspeed offerings.
On the return timetable Lohse appears to have moved well ahead of Brad Penny, who hasn’t pitched since a late-May grand slam took him out of action for what was expected to be just two weeks.
Lohse, who continues to recovery from surgery to his right forearm, threw for the first time Monday. The right-hander played catch at a distance of about 90 feet.
"What I really want is to see what my limits are, but you have to be cautious with it," he said. "You take a step and see how you feel. Baby steps."
Lohse was placed on the 60-day disabled list in late May to free up a spot on the 40-man roster for Randy Winn, and as a result he won't be eligible to return to the Cardinals' active roster until the end of July. But his surgery, an exceedingly rare one for a pitcher, appears to be a tentative success.
To make room on the 40-man roster for Randy Winn the Cardinals placed Kyle Lohse on the 60-day disabled list.
With the optimistic timetable still leaving him two months away from a return to the mound there was no need to keep him on the 15-day list, but this leaves Lohse officially unable to join the team until late July.
Dr. Steven Shin, the same surgeon who performed Brendan Ryan’s late-offseason wrist surgery, operated on Lohse.
The right-handed pitcher had been bothered by lingering discomfort in his forearm since first injuring himself when he was hit by a pitch in May 2009.
The Cardinals did not announce any timetable for Lohse’s return to baseball, but according to a statement from the club, he will begin physical therapy in about one week.
According to Fox Sports Midwest‘s Twitter, Lohse’s surgery will take place Friday in Los Angeles. It took a long time for Lohse and the Cardinals to realize something was amiss, but to their credit they appear to have moved forward on it quickly.
Kyle Lohse's forearm problems appear to be more serious than initially thought—season-threatening surgery now seems increasingly likely. Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the Cardinals have diagnosed him with extreme compartmental syndrome:
Cardinals starting pitcher Kyle Lohse is suffering from a rare condition that either requires surgery or necessitates a permanent role change, say sources familiar with the diagnosis given Lohse on Wednesday by an Anaheim, Calif., specialist.
Hand and wrist specialist Dr. Steven S. Shin met with Lohse for less than an hour at the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopedic Clinic about 90 minutes north of San Diego. Shin found Lohse to be suffering from extreme compartment syndrome, a condition in which the sheath covering a muscle in the pitcher's forearm fails to allow it to expand.
The Cardinals had no way of knowing something like this would happen—only Noah Lowry has been diagnosed this way before, a diagnosis that later proved both incorrect and damaging to the former Giants pitcher's career—but this is another set-back in a contract that's proven disappointing from the moment it was signed.